How to Stay Safe During Read a Road Map Week
The first week of April is Read A Road Map week, but not many people are doing that anymore. Instead, they’re using digital applications for wayfinding. From Google Maps to Apple Maps, anyone with a smartphone can navigate their way across the world whether they’re traveling by foot, train, or automobile. Never been to your destination? Any GPS application can help you get there. Make a wrong turn? No problem, because your app will automatically re-route you and get you back on track. Sure, these navigation apps have certainly made our lives easier, and some would even argue that they’ve made in-car navigation safer, doing away with massive maps or printed MapQuest directions that are hard to read, but for all of the good these apps provide, they can still present a danger when traveling.
The Dangers That In-Car Navigation Apps Present
While these wayfinding apps have certainly benefited drivers in a number of ways, they still present some dangers to drivers, including distracted driving. 25-30% of all accidents in the United States are caused by distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While it’s improbable that all these accidents are caused by GPS systems, they can serve as a major distraction when driving, especially when you make a wrong turn or decide to use a navigation app mid-journey.
Similarly, apps like Waze crowd-source their information from users, who are entering things like the location of cops, car accidents, cameras, and even pot holes in real time. Contributing to the app can help prevent other people from receiving a ticket or getting into an accident, but at what cost? Fiddling with the app while driving is just as dangerous as texting and driving.
Using Navigation Apps Safely While Driving
It only takes a few seconds for a major accident to occur. Driving at 55 mph, you can cover the entire length of a football field in five seconds. Avoid the distractions wayfinding apps can present by using them safely.
- Mount your phone to your dashboard or windshield. Your phone should be as close to eye level as possible without obstructing your view of the road or any in-vehicle features like the speedometer. From windshield to dashboard models, you can find car mounts for any phone model.
- Drive carefully! It boils down to driving as carefully as you possibly can. Always obey the speed limit, especially in residential areas. Avoid taking your eyes off the road at all costs and if you have to check your navigation app, do so quickly and return your eyes to the road or pull over to assess your situation. Always give yourself plenty of time to get to your destination and limit distractions, like calls, texts and social media notifications, with a driving safety app.
Driving Apps That Can Keep You Safe
- Kruzr. This app detects when you’re in your vehicle and on the move and will automatically mute notifications for incoming calls and texts, sending a message to whoever is trying to contact you to inform them that you’re on the road and that you’ll respond when it’s safe. You can let the app know when certain calls need to come through so that you don’t miss emergency information.
- Drive Mode. This app allows you to use voice control with your favorite apps, making it easy to access navigation tools, music and messaging. It’ll also put your phone into “Do Not Disturb” mode whenever you start to drive, ignoring calls and texts to keep you safe.
Navigation apps are an excellent tool for navigation that are certainly easier to use while you’re driving than traditional paper maps, but it’s important to use them safely. If you or someone you know has been involved in a car accident caused by a navigation app, contact us today by calling (215) 953-5200, or by requesting a free case evaluation.