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How to Safely Use Your GPS

by Staff Blogger | April 28th, 2021

Whether it’s built-in to your vehicle or you use the one in your smartphone, having a GPS can make getting around town and to new destinations much faster and easier. With just a few simple taps or commands, you can get exact directions, all while avoiding slow downs and traffic jams. But there’s also a major downside to using a GPS—the potential for distraction.

Too many drivers become more focused on their built-in or smartphone GPS screens than on the road ahead of them. In an effort to avoid missing a turn, they may avoid seeing the vehicle that slowed down or stopped in front of them. Or, while their eyes are trying to decipher where their next turn is, they may not realize they’re drifting into oncoming traffic.

There are two rules for safely using a GPS:

  • Pre-program your destination before you leave—Input your destination before you even put your vehicle in drive. If you need to change your destination, pull over and do it from a safe location.
  • Turn on turn-by-turn speech directions—Having a live map of your route displayed on your GPS can be helpful, but it’s also distracting. The safest way to utilize a GPS is to rely on turn-by-turn voice directions which don’t require you to look away from the road.

It’s also important to remember that GPS directions and maps aren’t always 100% accurate. For example, road closures may not be accounted for, and certain routes may send drivers on far-flung detours to shave just a couple of minutes off of their commutes. When programming a new destination into your GPS, zoom out to view the entire route to ensure it’s accurate.

Distracted driving is one of the most common causes of crashes in Tennessee, and GPS usage is one of the most common causes of distracted driving. If you or someone you love was hurt by a distracted driver, contact the Nashville auto accident lawyers at Ponce Law today for a free consultation.

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