Tips For Using Your GPS Wisely

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In spite of the popularity of GPS devices, the RCMP on Prince Edward Island in Canada are concerned about motorists putting too much of their faith and trust in their GPS devices. The RCMP are advising travelers who use these devices to take some precautionary and common sense measures before heading out on a journey.

• GPS users should input their route, and then they should look at it to see if it makes sense to them.

• GPS users might not want to use those smaller country roads where there are no services, no service stations, or street lights.

• A GPS device should aid your own navigational abilities rather than replace them.
• The devices can also be a distraction if drivers try to program them while they're driving, or pay more attention to the GPS than they do the road. Don't neglect line of sight while following directions given by your GPS.

• The GPS will tell people, well to turn left or right or take a particular exit. There is no indication whether or not it's safe to do it at that point. This might cause some drivers to panic whenever they get the orders, and they're not ready to make a lane change.

• Many GPS devices are also programmed to provide the shortest route to a destination. But shorter isn't always better, says an Island motorist. "When I first tried it, I was heading to Halifax. And heading to the boat, it was telling me to take this dirt road and this snow-covered road just to get to the boat," This was clearly a misdirection.

• It's important for motorists to remember that if they miss a turn, the GPS will recalculate and get them back on track.

• Most GPS devices offer multiple routes to a destination, so if motorists don't like the idea of taking a snow-covered country road, they can, and should, find another way.

• Of 3,000 motorists that were surveyed, almost two-thirds said they kept a route map in their vehicles "just in case".

With the growing popularity of GPS devices, we must not become too complacent. These are excellent points to remember when traveling and using your device. Don't check your common sense at the door just because you have a satellite navigational device in your car. Remember that the RCMP says, A GPS device should aid your own navigational abilities rather than replace them. Sounds like excellent advice.

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