Navigating busy, traffic-heavy roadways in Houston can be frustrating for daily commuters and dangerous for out-of-towners. There’s little time to look at a paper map and often, the interstate is too busy to pull over safely to look at directions. Trying to navigate, with an in-dash navigational system can be problematic because there technology is outdated and hard, as well as expensive to update. A faulty navigation system can distract drivers, taking their attention off of the road and putting them at greater risk for an accident. According to Houston lawyer, Kevin Krist, driver inattention or distraction was the cause of 10,707 serious injury crashes, 16,776 non-serious injury crashes and another 45,178 property damage crashes on Texas roadways in 2011. Safe navigation on Texas highways can be achieved with an accurate navigation system, drivers just need to find the best one for their needs.
Affordable and Accurate Navigation Systems You Can Trust
Because in-dash navigation systems are outdated and add a hefty price tag to vehicles, drivers may want a navigation system that is more reliable and less expensive:
– Many drivers may opt for a portable, and affordable, GPS device such as Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom. Such devices are equipped with live traffic updates, verbal commands/directions, and are more up-to-date than built-in versions. Additionally, portable devices have a Bluetooth option allowing drivers to answer phone calls without fumbling for a cell phone. Some extra features may offer drivers the most fuel efficient route.
– With the growing trend of Smartphone usage, many drivers would rather use navigation apps than portable GPS systems, according to the consumer-research firm, J.D. Power and Associates. In a study, conducted by the firm, 46% of respondents stated that they would not buy a GPS system if their smartphone’s navigation functions could be displayed on a central screen on their dash.
– Some popular navigation apps for smartphones, such as Google Maps, MapQuest Mobile, Navigon, and CoPilot, offer voice demand turn-by-turn directions, traffic updates, speed limits, and speed limit cameras.
– A community-supported navigation app, Waze, encourages users to share vital and helpful information about traffic jams, accidents, and police activities as they encounter them.
Drivers, who decide to depend on portable gps systems or their smartphones, must keep safety in mind. GPS and smartphones, even while not directly held by drivers, can be a distraction while driving. Before heading out, try to plan out your trip and make sure your device works. You can’t waste any time fumbling around with buttons and make sure that your device is reliable and can deliver directions by voice command. It’s important that your eyes stay on the road and your hands stay on the wheel.
Don’t Rely on your GPS
While most GPS navigation systems are accurate and give simple directions, it’s dangerous to rely on your GPS too much. Often times, drivers take the navigation system’s directions too literally, failing to use common sense. Given the possibility of error or outdated information, you could find yourself “turning right” into danger, such as a lake, rough terrain, or into dangerous oncoming traffic. Before you invest in a GPS system, do your research and decide which kind of navigation system would be best for you, with your safety always in mind. If you decide to go for something a little more “high tech”, make sure you’re not “lost” in the complicated technology that might make you lost while on the road.
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