Classic Collision has 34 locations in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Because of this we have hundreds of conversations Monday – Friday with drivers who have been in an accident. No doubt this is a stressful experience that disrupts their lives. It is our goal to help as many drivers as we can by repairing their vehicles to factory specifications so they can safely get back on the road as quickly as possible.
Another goal we have is to write quality articles that will inform and inspire our readers to make good decisions while driving so they avoid being in an accident altogether. That may seem counterintuitive, that a body shop would rather you avoid an accident in the first place, but we care about people first. Accidents can, and will happen, and that provides us with lots of repairs to do. With that in mind, today’s topic is how to use your navigation system safely so you are not a distracted driver.
In a blink of your eye the road before you can change and if you are trying to use your navigation system your eyes may be looking away from the road and your hand might not be on the steering wheel. This can cause an accident and change your life.
There are only a few things you can do to ensure you will not be a distracted driver while using your navigation system. Consider the following:
- Plan ahead. Just like a pilot has a flight plan that he/she refers to before the plane takes off, you should create a travel plan before your wheels start to turn. Take a few minutes to look up your destination on your smartphone or PC along with any stops you need to make (gas, eat, shop) and bookmark them into your route. This enables you to relax and focus on driving.
- Get to know your navigation system. Many people do not want to take the time to read the manual but will watch YouTube videos to learn how to use their system. Simply open YouTube and type in ‘how to use my ______(manufacturer of your car, e.g. Toyota) navigation system”. You will see a list of videos to choose from and in a few minutes will gain the understanding of how to best use your system.
- Use a system that is voice activated and functions from your steering wheel. You can verbally request things like show map, find place, find city, go home and saved/recent places. Using voice activation while driving keeps you moving safely with your eyes on the road and hands on the steering wheel. YouTube has great demonstrations that can show you exactly how they work.
- Enlist the help of a passenger to help input information if you need to change course. This is especially important if you are using a nav system that does not have voice activation. If you are driving alone get off the road and input the information and then safely continue. It will only take a few minutes. Interestingly, there are a few factory installed navigation systems that will not allow data to be input while the car is moving.
When you are driving your car, you are in charge of a very powerful piece of machinery. On average the American car has about 120 horsepower (the range is 70-200+). To help you visualize what that might look like, visualize the Budweiser Clydesdale 8 horse hitch team that you see in parades. They are a strong, powerful team! Now imagine that you are driving your hitch of 120 Clydesdale horses down the road. That would be a team 15x larger than the Budweiser hitch! You need your hands and eyes focused on the horses and the road ahead in order to stay safe.