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Using GPS devices in your vehicle safely TURN RIGHT TURN RIGHT NOW!

In your safety talks at work did anyone, anyone at all cover this topic!!!!

As you travel either for business or pleasure you see GPS devices everywhere, and they beat the heck out of maps or and matching landscape, but they have a few safety features you need to consider.

One they come usually pre- programed with maps so those ones you can update via your computer are better than the ones you need memory cards for.  Second as you listen to the voice in that little box say turn right, turn right now,( and you cant) you hear this cranky voice noting redirecting your route. Using the GPS device can be a great way to get you from point a to point B safely. Understanding how to safely use a global positioning system requires understanding of how to operate your system, using it to the fullest extent you can safely and always keep your eyes on the road way ahead of you.

How it works

  • GPS satellites circle the earth twice a day in a very precise orbit and transmit signal information to earth. GPS receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user’s exact location.
  • Essentially, the GPS receiver compares the time a signal was transmitted by a satellite with the time it was received. The time difference tells the GPS receiver how far away the satellite is. Now, with distance measurements from a few more satellites, the receiver can determine the user’s position and display it on the unit’s electronic map.
  • GPS can calculate the longitude and latitude of locations and transmit this information to a receiver which enables the person using GPS to correctly locate and travel to destinations.
  • GPS devices have been manufactured into some vehicle models and are also available as stand-alone devices

A risk under distracted driving, younger drivers do not want the directions they want the address so they can use their smart phones to guide them to the location. Whether you use a app on your iPhone or your navigation system in your automobile or pickup, there are certain safety tips that will help you arrive safely. And yes, bluetooth is a wireless networking technology that uses short-range communications to transmit data. Where you would have used a wire to connect your phone to your headset, Bluetooth technology will securely send the information wirelessly. Your phone can use this technology to send calls and other information through your GPS.


The first safety tip is to program your GPS device with the address before you leave. Any accidents are caused by distracted drivers who are attempting to punch in the address or dictate the address to their GPS device while driving. Don’t go there. Spending just a minute before you start making sure that you have added the address correctly and know the general route is the first step to proper use of your GPS device.


Whether you are using an app on your iPhone, android device or other GPS, if the application has voice directions it is a good idea to utilize that. The best GPS systems provide very good feedback to the driver giving the driver plenty of time to prepare for changes in lames and streets. Additionally, using the voice direction feature serves to prevent unnecessarily distraction by taking your eyes off of the road and looking at your GPS device.


Another safety tip is to put your passenger in charge of the directions. If you do not have voice directions, have your passenger look at your GPS device and give you instructions -so you can keep your eyes on the road. A great number of unnecessary car accidents occur simply because the driver was paying attention to something other than the roadway ahead.


GPS systems are not infallible. Paying attention to the direction traveled and having looked at the destination and route before starting your trip can help you stay on course. Always obey traffic signs and anticipate there may be changes not reflected on your GPS information. It all boils down to paying attention to the roadway and not your device. Depending on the device, the maps may not be updated for the latest highway you are on.

Just like worker training or competency KNOW HOW TO USE YOUR GPS BEFORE YOU START

Know how to operate your GPS device and take advantage of it safety features such as voice control. If you do not know how to use your application or the building GPS navigation in your vehicle go to YouTube and you can find a video that will walk you through the steps to understand how to use your specific GPS.


The basic rule of safety and using the GPS device is always keep your eyes on the road and not on the device. If you must reset or change your destination in your device pull off the road where you can safely and re-program your GPS before you start your trip again.


GPS devices are covered under distracted-driving laws. Whether you’re in compliance depends on how you use them, even how you install them. And failing to follow the rules is not only expensive in terms of tickets, points against your license, and higher insurance premiums, it can also be dangerous. To avoid getting into a distracted driving accident, keep these hints in mind when using your GPS:

  1. Pull over: First and foremost, a GPS unit or a GPS app on your phone should never be used while you are driving. Most versions actually will not allow you to perform any functions if it detects that your vehicle is in motion. Just to be careful, find a safe spot to pull over and tinker with the gadget then and only then.
  2. Secure it: Use some sort of device mount to keep your GPS unit or your phone stable while you drive. Secure it in a spot that is not going to block your field of view while driving, but also will not require you to look well away from the road ahead to see it. Right on the center console is usually good.
  3. Predestination: Do you know where you’re going next? Type it into the navigational system before you even get into your car. Now all the trouble of trying to type in a complicated address while simultaneously driving is completely avoided. You should also review the route it suggests and check it ahead of time for traffic problems.
  4. Familiarization: New gadgets can be fun to use and discover all of their functions and options, but driving is not the time to do so. Why not set aside 15 minutes to familiarize yourself with your GPS unit before your next trip? It could allow you to handle a glitch or problem with ease, should one come up while you are behind the wheel.
  5. Be human: This means you need to still think for yourself and judge driving situations using your own trusted knowledge of the road and rules. Sometimes a GPS will tell you to drive the wrong way on a one-way street, or report the speed limit is 45 miles per hour when its actually just 25. Never put your own better judgement aside for what a programmable robot has to say.

No matter how safe you are with your GPS device, it will not help you if another negligence driver allows themselves to become distracted by their own GPS or cellphone. If you get hit by a distracted driver and suffer a serious injury in the resulting car accident,

In the workplace they have more than one use!!! Benefits of GPS for the road user/ motorists

  • The use of a satellite navigation system improves driver behaviour in unknown areas, heightens alertness and reduces stress levels.
  • An international study revealed that the use of a GPS device reduces the amount of miles driven by 16 percent and reduces travel time in an unknown area by 18 percent. GPS systems assist motorists to in identifying the location of features on, near, or adjacent to the road networks.
  • These include service stations, maintenance and emergency services and supplies, entry and exit ramps, damage to the road system, etc.
  • Motorists are alerted through a constantly updated database of accident blackspots, primary school zones, safety camera locations and other hazardous stretches of road.
  • New developments include research to provide warnings to drivers of potential critical situations, such as traffic violations or crashes.
  • GPS speed camera detectors help motorists drive within the local speed limits, ensuring safer and worry- free motoring.
  • The use of a navigation system increases driver awareness and reduces stress
  • Before setting out, the motorists adds his destination address on the system’s in-dash touch pad, and within seconds, arrows on the moving map and a kindly woman’s voice guide you on your way. Most systems even enable you to specify the easiest, quickest or most scenic route.
  • Motorists also receive information on the current speed, average speed, maximum speed reached and estimated time to reach the destination.
  • Real time traffic information is available and not dependent on road or weather conditions

Accident Investigations

  • The use of GPS (Global Positioning Systems) is the fastest and most accurate way of obtaining reliable data about accident locations.
  • GPS is also the cheapest way to identify accident locations in countries with existing accident data collection programs.
  • Localization has to be performed at the road accident location immediately after the accident occurrence when the causes and circumstances can be examined more precisely.

Terry Penney

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