What’s the Deal With GPS Devices?

GPS-Device-in-CarOver the years, GPS devices have become standard technology in new vehicles rolling off of the assembly line. Whether you’re trying to navigate an unfamiliar place or you’re looking for that new coffee shop in the city, the GPS device has completely replaced the map in terms of navigation. But is this a good thing?

Many argue against them for various reasons; the first reason being that they can cause major distractions on the roadways. While laws in various places have already banned the use of texting while driving, other devices are still allowed. Many say that it would be ludicrous and impossible to ban GPS devices in cars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that driver distraction plays a role in 25 to 30 percent of the roughly 1.2 million car crashes in the United States each year. While this number can also relate to other devices such as cell phones or talking with another passenger, using a GPS inside of a vehicle can become a major distraction. Many drivers have to enter in addresses manually and do so while driving. To counter this problem, auto manufacturers have implemented technology that allows for hands-free navigation, so drivers never have to enter anything into the GPS by hand if they don’t want to.

Another argument that many people have against GPS systems in vehicles is that they cause a higher rate of vehicle break-ins. Besides car stereos, GPS systems are one of the most common items stolen from vehicle’s because of their high street value. If you do own and use a GPS system in your vehicle, please make sure to hide it out of plain site, whether in your glove compartment or trunk. Also, unless the system is permanently attached to your vehicle, your auto policy may not cover it fully. Since the GPS may be attached externally, it is considered personal property and therefore would only be covered up to $250.

Whether or not someone argues that a GPS system inside of a vehicle is good or bad, the benefits seem to outshine a few flaws. For instance, although many say that GPS systems inside of cars can cause distractions, hands-free navigation allows the driver to always concentrate on the road. Certain GPS systems even have safety features which allow them not to be altered while the vehicle is in motion.

Auto makers are being proactive about the dangers as well. BMW is coming out with a system inside their vehicles that track’s a user’s eye movement, so if their eyes glance at the screen for more than two seconds, it turns completely black. Even if the GPS is not built into the car, it still provides the added benefit of providing directions to almost anywhere that is drivable and many even offer live traffic updates. These features can save both time and money. Because of technology like this being implemented, GPS systems will always be a fantastic addition to vehicles.