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Are GPS Units Making Drivers Worse?

Most times, I think my GPS (and Google Maps on my iPhone) are a lifesaver.

I don’t use them all the time, but when I’m in a bind or going to a place I’ve never been before, they are awesome.

I have a pretty good sense of direction. I know how to get around, and thanks to jobs working in radio promotions all over the state, and a stint as a traffic reporter/producer, I know a lot of the roads in our area.

Still, there are times when I need the GPS to get me somewhere. The problem is, the more I use the GPS, the more I find I need to rely on it.

I feel more comfortable knowing where I’m going without needing the GPS.

gps units
Flickr user mroach

I never need to worry about clouds or rain interfering with a satellite if I’m not using it.

I’m noticing though, that I’m in the minority, at least among my friends. And THESE PEOPLE.

My best friend (sorry, Yiz) is the worst with directions. She wouldn’t get anywhere without her GPS.

The problem is, she relies so much on the GPS that she doesn’t read the signs on the road. (She says they are too distracting.)

I find that a lot of people don’t read road signs. That scares me. A lot.

You should be able to glance at a sign on the road and quickly (and safely) read it while driving. You also shouldn’t listen to your GPS as if it is an omniscient being.

Try this one day: pack your GPS away, gas up your car, and let yourself get a little lost. Drive around. Explore. Find out where a road will take you if you don’t get off on your normal exit. READ THE SIGNS.

You might find a quicker route around town, or if you ever get stuck in a traffic situation and your GPS isn’t working, you’ll know a good detour.

You might even stumble across a new restaurant, shop, or park.

I’m all for technology, but as a helpful tool, not as a total replacement for my own brain.

Do you think we rely on technology too much to get around?


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