A couple of days ago I wrote a post about cell phone dangers while driving and the main distracted driving safety tips are Do Not Use a phone if you are at the wheel.
Before I even begin to write a short maybe silly question to everyone, Is it Safe to Drink and Drive?
Stupid question isn’t it. It is not just unsafe it is the criminal offence.
So, when it comes to using a cell phone while driving is equivalent to blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%.
Everyone knows a common truth „Do not drink and drive!“ But, when someone starts to make equal between drinking and interacting in any style with a mobile phone while driving, so many indignations have to listen.
And again, statistics are horrific, millions of people all over the world have died and injured somehow related to road accidents. To be honest, the latest data shows that distracted driving even exceeds drunk driving counts.
Just to remind, a short list what exactly Distracted Driving meaning includes:
• Talking on a phone;
• Drinking beverage;
• Using a GPS navigation;
•Manually Interacting with the sound system.
Let’s move closer to my topic related to the use of smartphones for GPS navigation.
In my previous post, I have explained a difference related to distracted driving between stand alone GPS and smartphone navigation apps.
The Quick reminder,
– the navigation guidance is interrupted by incoming calls or text messages;
– online navigation applications could lose a GSM connection which can lead to sad consequences;
-voice commands are very inaccurate and are unreliable.
What to do?
Let’s be honest and agree that anyone who has a smartphone is also at least once used it as a GPS navigation tool. App Store and Google Play online shopping markets are full of GPS navigation apps. Even such brands as Garmin or TomTom have fully functional navigation software for smartphones similar to dedicated devices or factory built in entertainment systems.
Everything is fine until we come across the distracted driving issue. The main problem of these applications or software is that all of them allows you to do everything while moving. It is not safe and is to be counted as distracted driving.
Yes, many older stand alone GPS devices even allow act while driving, but even those, as a rule, have an ability enable such function. Almost all TomTom GPS navigators have a factory setting which does not allow even passenger mode as long as a car moves.
A situation in smartphone app features is much worse. I did not find any satellite navigation app with movement detection feature consequently no way, even voluntary, to enable this safety option. Correct me if I am wrong and I’ll be happy to accept it.
Waze attempts to somehow be an advanced and asking „…are you the passenger?“ are ridiculous as well as some other apps. I do not believe that You and I will not tick „Yes“.
Let’s see what Mr.Google offers us.
Unfortunately, little or nothing at all when it comes to GPS navigation feature. There are some paid apps preventing texting while drive but none that not allow adjust GPS functions. And again, correct me, maybe I just could not find them.
Sooner or later even so popular app developers as Waze, Maps.me and other will be forced to develop their apps with distracted driving option to hold their ratings.
Recently some of the car companies like Ford, Mazda have dashboard installed smartphone connected systems. For Apple, it calls Apple Car Play and Android is named as Android Auto. It sounds and from the first sight looks cool but actually is far from perfect.
If we look from the perspective of our distracted driving topic until now it is not much better than just a smartphone.
In Apple Car Play just Siri responds better than on iPhone. Features are the same as on the phone, I mean that no way to disable willingness to fingering on a screen while driving. When I first saw those innovations I was amazed but today I am cooled down and even do not desire it anymore.
My conclusion comparing GPS navigation features for smartphone apps, dedicated standalone satellite navigation systems and onboard factory installed GPS (and other sat nav systems) units when it comes to the distracted driving problem.
The safest way to use GPS navigation is the onboard system.
Next is properly attached in allowed and the safest place standalone GPS device.
The last place a smartphone app whenever a voice guide directions are enabled and the destination is set before a trip.
Scrolling up to the beginning of the post about distracted driving safety tips I must say that the not use of a smartphone is one of these tips.