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Why You Should Always Drive with Your GPS

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When you drive around in a new area, you probably use your GPS to make sure you don’t get lost. Whether you use a dash-mounted unit or an app on your phone, having a GPS can help you navigate through some sticky situations.

For instance, some large freeways have exits on both sides and it’s easy to miss your exit if you don’t know when to change lanes. If you’re driving in San Francisco, left turns are forbidden for miles in some areas, so having a GPS is essential if you’re not familiar with how to get around.

Using your GPS to find your way makes sense when you’re driving unfamiliar roads, but there are several reasons to consider driving with your GPS every time you hit the road.

1. You won’t get lost taking backroads

If you’re going to be driving in a chaotic place like Los Angeles, a GPS will help you navigate the backroads when you run into traffic, which will certainly happen at some point. Backroads don’t always make sense visually, since not every city is built as a perfect grid. Plus, one-way roads can get you even more lost.

Waiting in traffic to get to the grocery store isn’t a big deal, but if you’re headed to an important event, running into traffic can make you late. Sometimes the only way to be on time is to take back roads or alternative routes. 

If you don’t want to drive to events, you have the option to hire a chauffeur service in Los Angeles. However, if you do drive, using your GPS will be a lifesaver if you need to change your planned route.

2. Some roads are confusing

When you’re used to driving on roads that make sense, it can be a jarring experience to drive in areas where the roads are a little more chaotic. For example, in some major downtown areas, cars share lanes with trolleys, lanes disappear after you cross an intersection, and bicycles have their own lanes on the side of the road.

When you’re driving on roads with unfamiliar features or abrupt changes, it’s going to be a little stressful. Having a GPS running while you’re driving will help you navigate your way around these changes without getting lost. If you make any wrong turns, your GPS will redirect you until you get it right. This will take the pressure off and you’ll be able to focus completely on the task of driving.

3. You won’t get a ticket for hands-free violation

In many states, it’s illegal to touch your mobile device while driving, even to activate your GPS app. If you get lost and suddenly need your GPS, you’ll be glad you started driving with it because you won’t have to risk getting a ticket or causing an accident by fiddling with your phone.

It’s equally distracting to mess with a physical GPS unit and you can be ticketed for that, too. Although tickets can be expensive, trying to program a GPS while driving is dangerous. Your safety is the best reason to always drive with your GPS running.

4. Your speedometer is broken

Does your speedometer work properly? If it’s off by too much, you might end up speeding without realizing you’re going too fast. If your speedometer isn’t quite right, driving with your GPS running will give you an accurate, digital speedometer to know how fast you’re going.

The interesting thing is that a GPS speedometer is more accurate than a car’s speedometer, even if that difference is negligible. Even though there isn’t much of a difference, it’s something to consider if you can’t rely on your dashboard speed.

Where would we be without GPS technology?

More than 60% of U.S. drivers use GPS at least once a week. That means they’re not using a GPS just for special occasions – they’re using it to get to routine places.

Even though GPS directions aren’t always perfectly accurate, it’s hard to imagine a world without this wonderful technology. How did anyone ever make it to new destinations with paper maps and hand-written directions? 

Somehow, they did, but thankfully we have GPS to do all the hard work for us today. The technology isn’t perfect, but it does get better as more people make corrections when they discover errors. It’s only a matter of time before all of the rough spots are smoothed out, and the accuracy of GPS will be ideal.

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Christopher Stern
Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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