Thank goodness for technology. Otherwise, how would we ever figure out how to drive from Point A to Point B? Unfortunately, apps that are helpful in many ways can actually be a major distraction for a driver and lead to a car crash. How do you get the information you need while driving without compromising the attention you should be putting on the road? These apps will test your willpower, especially since some apps are those we feel like we can’t live without, or get anywhere without.
Drivers are in love with Waze. As a navigation app, it’s tops, and there is a wealth of information available to users. Real-time traffic and road details pop up, as well as tips for how to save money on gas and improve your commuting route and time. On a vacation in an unfamiliar area? Waze will help sneak you out of a traffic jam, automatically reroute, or alert you of problems ahead so your vacation doesn’t begin or end with a traffic headache.
Drivers can report accidents, road closures, and police traps along the way. You can even notify people of your estimated arrival time. But how much of this is done hands-free? If you have a co-pilot in the passenger seat, then great. You can get the navigation info you need without being distracted by all the rest that Waze has to offer. Flying solo? The voice-guided navigation is a definite help but the other bells and whistles are a major distraction. Waze is also a distraction for its social media linking capabilities so you can stay on top of where your fellow travelers may be and notify them of your own location.
Another GPS app, Google Maps is great for giving you the info you need about your route, including a list of steps from start to finish so you can read before you get on the road just which way you’ll be going. Some users report issues with Google Maps, however, especially when their phone is Bluetooth-activated in the car and the phone connects to the Bluetooth every time a new direction is read aloud. That can be pretty annoying if you hear, “Keep left to exit,” followed by “Phone call complete.” As a result, users of Google Maps will switch to the non-Bluetooth version and be distracted looking down to follow the directions or fiddling with the volume.
There are always more buttons to push and more information to be had in Google. Road closings? You’ll see it on the map. Walking somewhere? Google Maps will get you there in real time, but you might run into someone on the way causing a distracted pedestrian accident (no joke).
Distraction comes in many forms depending on who you are. Shopaholics may have their eyes torn from the road when their Retail Me Not app cha-chings that they’re driving by a preferred shopping venue. House hunters can easily be distracted by Zillow and its cousins if your phone is set up to ding every time a new listing in your desired zip code hits the market. Smartphones, in general, are a distraction, and distracted driving has become an epidemic.
Don’t allow your smartphone to be your doom. Yes, drivers need to know where they’re going, but you can purchase a dashboard display for your phone so you don’t have to look down for directions or hold it while you’re driving. And, as for the rest of your phone activities, resist the temptation to handle your smartphone for texting, calls, emails, web surfing, social media, or anything else, until you arrive at your destination. If you have been involved in a car crash involving a distracted driver, contact David Femminineo today to discuss your case.