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Car Navigation System Distractions

Dash navigation systems in cars are great for providing directions to get drivers where they want to go without having to depend on paper maps. But hold on because dash navigation systems can do much more than give directions. Dash nav systems can also give traffic updates, play music, show videos, and display photos from memory sticks. In addition to all that, dash nav systems can even take phone calls for hands free calling.

With so many features available to get drivers where they want to go while simultaneously entertaining them, there is no wonder dash devices incite pros and cons when used in cars.

Having dash navigation systems in cars can certainly help drivers out when they do not know how to get from point A to point B. When programming the systems in advance, drivers can set the devices on speaker mode, which allows the navigation devices to talk drivers through their journeys from start to finish.

The thing is, however, drivers do not always program navigation systems prior to starting journeys. Sometimes, drivers do not realize they will need navigational assistance – or they simply forget. In these cases, drivers may fiddle with navigation devices (just as they would their Bluetooth or their cellphone) in order to set them. This distraction takes focus away from driving because drivers do not always pull over to perform this operation and thus is a con for using navigation systems in cars.

Another con against navigation systems is mapping technology is not always correct because it is not always up to date. Construction projects that change driving directions by adding or redirecting roads and highways do not always translate updates to nav devices right away. For this reason, following electronic navigational maps sometimes steers drivers to places they do not want to go.

In similar cases, nav devices send drivers on “scenic” (longer) routes to get from point A to point B than drivers might have taken if they knew where they were going. Scenic routes usually amount to excess driving time, which in turn means excess gas usage.

Drivers sometimes turn nav system volumes off because they find nav voices irritating. Nav voices sometimes provide the same information repeatedly in monotones no one “really” wants to hear. When drivers “get” where devices tell them they need to turn left or right, they may turn the devices down or off, at least temporarily, until they need the next directional prompt.

Furthermore, drivers often turn nav devices off or down because they want to converse with passengers, or they get a phone call, or they want to listen to radios, CDs, or MP3s. When this happens, drivers must look at the map on the navigator more than they would look at the map while the voice tells them where to go. This means drivers are not looking at the road because they are “reading while driving”.

A good thing, a pro, about having dash navigation systems is that drivers who do not have built in systems can mount portable ones. Portable systems have simple mounting instructions and their costs are relatively low.

Another good thing is that when passengers, capable of reading maps, sit in front, they can operate nav devices and read directions for their drivers. In doing so, passengers can spare drivers navigational distractions. Then, drivers can pay more attention to roads and surroundings while they are driving.

All in all, dash navigation systems in cars – trucks and buses too for that matter – usually get drivers where they want to go without incident. When using the devices, drivers should exercise caution, however, in order to minimize driving distractions and even more so when playing videos and photos. Oh – and one more thing – in order to get updated traffic messages divers may be required to pay a fee. The service is generally free for a trial period of about ninety days prior to fee incurrence.

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