Satellite Navigation Systems – Pros and Cons (DOC)

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					The arrival of GPS satellite navigation systems in recent years have made driver's
lives a lot easier. All you need to do is plug in the name of the street or postcode of
where you want to go and in next to no time your sat nav will have worked out the
best route and have you on your way. No longer do you need to rely on having a
co-passenger read the map and try their best to get you back on the right road, or rely
on some hastily written directions committed to memory and a hope you will
eventually get to where you want to be go. Many sat nav systems have some great
additional extras such as built in speed camera warnings to help you control your
speed and avoid any fines. Others have mapping systems for the whole of Europe
should you decide to venture out of Ireland and drive on the continent. Prices for the
systems have been dropping, making them an affordable addition to Christmas and
birthday lists and you can now even buy them in your local supermarket along with
your groceries if you so wish. However they do have some down sides, which you
should be aware of. Recent research has found that as driver's become more reliant on
their GPS they can start to develop bad habits. They tend to focus more on what they
are being told by their sat nav systems and less on what the road signs are saying. This
has led to many news reports of people stuck in rivers or stranded down single track
country roads. In addition your sat nav does not know what type of car you are
driving, you could be in a Mini or a truck; be towing nothing or have a big trailer on
the back. Thus the route you may be told to take may not be the most suitable and you
should keep your wits about you as normal before taking any turn or new road. It is
good practice to check the route you have been given before you set off on your
journey, as this will enable you to determine whether the roads are suitable for your
vehicle.

Even if you do check the route before you go, you still need to ensure that you full
attention is given to the road whilst driving. Satellite navigation systems can provide
an easy distraction, as there is often so much information being displayed on the
screen. Not all of this information will be relevant to your journey and therefore it is
often wise to ensure the settings of the GPS are configured to your specific needs
before setting off. It goes without saying that you must also program your route into
the sat nav before your start your journey and should you feel you need to make any
chances you must stop your vehicle in a safe place to do so.

Satellite navigation systems can even cause problems when they are not in use.
Despite their drop in price they are still desired by thieves and leaving one on display
could result in your car being broken in to. This in turn could lead you to losing your
no claims bonus with your a car insurance. or facing a hefty repair bill. So even
though sat navs have a whole host of benefits to recommend them, before you buy
yourself a navigating friend you should consider the cons as well.