How Can GPS Make You a Better Driver?
While everyone knows that the primary purpose of a GPS device is to help you with navigation, can this gadget actually make you a better driver? In order to answer this, it’s important that we break down all the micro-skills that are making your, overall, skillset and see how a device such as this can impact each and every one of them. Now, some people rely on a GPS app on their smartphone but doing this and having an actual in-dash GPS device are not one and the same thing (this too is something that we’ll address later on). With that in mind and without further ado, let’s get into it.
1. It warns you of the traffic
Seeing as how modern GPS is always connected to the satellite, you’ll be warned of any traffic jams and have a higher chance of actually avoiding them. This adds a hint of flexibility to your driving patterns and helps you remain cool and composed even when you’re in a rush. Losing a couple of minutes (or half an hour) due to a jam when you’re desperate to get somewhere in time will make you drive more recklessly. Fortunately, with a GPS, you can eliminate at least this one stressor from the equation. Keep in mind, though, that traffic jams are sometimes unavoidable and that you need other ways to calm your mind when anxiety is near.
2. Focusing on your driving skills
Without a GPS, you would be so distracted by where you need to turn next, that you would pay less attention to the road around you. They often ask about where you should be looking while driving. Should you look at the road, the other vehicles, the pedestrians, or cyclists? The answer is quite simple – you need to look everywhere at the same time. Now, this is already too much information to process, now add to this the fact that you’re also trying to figure out when you’re supposed to change your lane in order to get the next turn. A GPS device will, at least, help you figure this one out.
3. Better than the phone
The biggest problem with a phone-based GPS is the fact that it’s still on your phone. This means that you still see all the popups and are tempted to text (at least while waiting at the traffic light). With an in-dash GPS device, this risk is easily averted. Moreover, you don’t have to rely on your phone’s battery or internet connection. Rushing to the meeting with a 12% battery will make you reluctant to use your phone for the GPS. With a GPS device, you can take your need for navigation completely out of this equation. These are just a few of the many ways in which a GPS device is superior to a phone-based GPS.
4. Finding alternative routes
Some people see the use of a GPS as an alternative to driving according to your own memory. The problem is that the urban landscape sometimes shifts on an hourly basis. What if there was an accident or if there’s a fire and the cops/firefighters are making you take a detour? What if this is the only route that you know? In a scenario where there are works in progress, you’ll be forced to take a detour, so how well are you going to handle this scenario. Having a GPS can help you out with this tremendously.
5. Knowing your way around
Now, GPS doesn’t just show you the streets. It also helps you find the nearby store, gas station, garage, police station, or a hospital. In a way, it helps you feel less out of place while traveling or commuting. Remember that driving aimlessly might put you in a spot where an accident is more likely. You’re putting yourself out there trying to figure out where you’re going, which also increases the tension. Also, when you’re in need of any of the places we’ve mentioned in the first sentence of this section, you’re on a time-sensitive mission. This should not be underestimated by any means.
6. Helpful with night driving
When driving at night things tend to look different. Even if you already took some route, if it was during the day, chances are that it would appear a bit different, which might end up confusing you. With the help of a GPS device, managing all of this will become so much easier. It will allow you to stay composed, as well, seeing as how feeling lost (to a degree) will increase the tension while driving. This will cloud your judgment, which leads to you making traffic mistakes.
In the end, it’s important to mention that the improvement of your driving as a result of a GPS can be both active and passive. Knowing where you’re going will help you with timely lane-switching, which drastically reduces the risk of an accident. Second, it helps you stay confident and keep your mind on the road. A rush to get somewhere or the anxiety of getting lost will both impair your judgment. You need to avoid this at any cost and a GPS device can be quite helpful in this struggle.