We have all had that heart stopping moment when you slam on the breaks and come screeching to a halt only inches away from the bumper of the vehicle in front of you. Taking your eyes off the road for even just a second can put you in danger; unfortunately with recent technology we have become almost wholly dependent on phones or handheld GPS for going anywhere new.
No matter how careful we try to be, we are still increasing our risk of ending up in an accident. Below are a couple suggestions on how to prevent potential accidents and make everyone in the car a little less nervous!
1. Use Your Front Seat Navigator
If you are not in the car alone, it is as simple as passing the phone or GPS to your right. Even if you think you can handle the situation, why take the risk?
If you’re uncomfortable handing over your phone, ask them to use theirs, most people have some sort of navigation app installed. However, if you are still using a handheld GPS pull over and program your destination first to avoid confusing your passenger.
2. Avoid Using Your Hands
There are so many different mounts ranging from suction cups to vent attachments that can hold your phone or GPS in place for you, and usually a handheld GPS will come with a complimentary one. This will keep you from having to look down on your lap while driving and will minimize the time your eyes are off the road.
If you don’t think you can afford one, try posting your device up on your instrument panel. As long as it is not blocking your speedometer or any other indicator this will hold you over until you get around to buying something a little handier, although going around corners can be an issue with this method.
3. Speak to Me
Even though the robotic sounding voice may be annoying, if you have an option for your GPS to read directions out loud, use it! Most of us are combination learners, this means we probably need a part visual and part auditory instruction to comprehend fully, especially when multitasking. So by using this tip along with the post up/mount method you can quickly and smoothly change lanes and make turns without scaring everyone in the car.
4. Keep it Updated
There is nothing worse than ending up at a dead end or realizing that the turn is closed due to construction, and it can cause more confusion than necessary. By updating your app or device, you are helping it help you to get you there not only safely but on the fastest route possible.
Handheld GPSs usually need to be updated through a computer and will prompt you to do so as they run through satellite images. If you have an iPhone, many recommend installing Google Maps or another variation of GPS app for directions instead of the preinstalled map app.
5. Review, Review, Review
It is as simple as knowing where you are going ahead of time, even if you don’t memorize every turn when you look at the overview, it will seem familiar when you are traveling. So program in your destination before you start driving and make sure you’ve gotten at least a glance at the directions, you can only rely on your GPS so much when you are the one operating the vehicle.
This can also prevent you making mindless turns into a blocked road or dead end as you feel a little more confident and can look ahead knowing you will be making a turn.
Using a GPS is supposed to make your drive easier, but multitasking can make things a little more complicated. With these few simple tips, you’re on your way to being a safer driver even when you have no clue where you are going!
Rebecca Borchers used to drive trucks, until she ended up in a wreck trying to avoid a distracted driver that swerved into her lane. She writes articles to maintain an income while she recovers, and after recovery plans to make use of http://driverphysicals.com to find a physician to regain DOT certification. You can learn more about Rebecca by visiting her Google+.