GPS: Right for You?
Centuries ago, the ability to successfully navigate by sea meant using the constellations to determine your location. In fact, written records of this are found in Homerís Odyssey. Today, navigation, by sea or on land, is easily achieved with the use of Global Positioning Systems (GPSs). In fact, most new cars on the market come equipped with this feature. They use the same satellite signals as are our military, and because of that, offer many advantages.
For example, a GPS can give you turn-by-turn directions to get from Point A to Point B, especially helpful when youíre driving in an unfamiliar area. So ultimately you can reduce your drive time. Another plus, itís like having a computer right there since you can use it to find handy places like hotels, restaurants and yes, gas stations. If you should discover a problem with your car, you can use your GPS to help you find a nearby mechanic. Another big plus: having a GPS system can reduce your car insurance premium because if it is stolen, it can be tracked and located. On a quick side note, just like history, these systems are perfect for water navigation.
Of course there are some disadvantages. First and foremost, sometimes the GPS fails. Should that happen, itís always good to have a back-up map and plan, so donít throw away your maps just yet. Another drawback is accuracy. If youíre driving in a city with lots of tall buildings, they can block and/or deflect the signal. GPSs donít generally take into account things like tall buildings and trees, so that can affect your ability to get accurate directions to your destination. Weather can also cause problems for your GPS since storms can disrupt the signal. Now while that may not sound like too much of a problem, you could miss a key exit or a turn you need to take. An important consideration Ė it can be a distraction for the driver, just like a cell phone.
Overall, do the advantages outweigh the disadvantages? Only you can determine that.
Johnny Nocera has been on the radio airwaves in Southwest Florida with ďDr. Johnnyís Car ClinicĒ WGUF New Radio 98.9 FM every Saturday morning from 9-10 for over 27 years. He also owns, along with his sons Jr. and Jimmy, Supreme Auto and Collision located in downtown Naples, and has been in business for more than 38 years.