Thursday, November 1, 2012

Motorists should embrace their in-car GPS navigation systems because they can help reduce their insurance risk profile and the costs associated with driving. So says Bradley Du Chenne, Senior Executive of Dial Direct Insurance.

Commenting on a survey by a UK-based insurance company which revealed that 83% of men and 75% of women ignore the directions provided by their sat-nav systems, he says motorists are stopping themselves from reaping the real benefits of GPS which go beyond simply getting directions.

“GPS can help make driving safer, reduce petrol and wear and tear costs, and save time,” he says.

Research by a leading GPS manufacturer has shown that drivers who don’t use a navigation system claim up to 12% more often from their insurers for damages than people who use GPS. They also claim about 5% more on damage costs.

“The research also showed that the use of a satellite navigation solution reduces the number of kilometres driven by 16% and reduces travel time by 18% when driving in an unknown area to an unknown destination. Motorists driving in an unfamiliar environment make significantly fewer stops and turn around fewer times to get to their destination when using a GPS. Using a quality GPS also reduces drivers’ anxiety and stress, with 78% of GPS users in the survey indicating that they feel more in control,” says Du Chenne.

Du Chenne says GPS reduces driving risks in various ways.

For instance, aside from guiding the shortest course from A to B, good quality GPS devices provide real-time traffic reports and advice on the best alternative route to take to avoid congestion and dangerous road conditions ahead such as accidents or flooding.

“Avoiding jams, accidents and other hazards not only makes your trip safer, but less frustrating as well,” says Du Chenne.

Relying on a GPS also means that drivers don’t have to take the risk of stopping in potentially unsafe areas to ask for directions. As most navigation systems offer a preview of what lies ahead, informing motorists in advance of turn-offs, ramps and roads long before they come to them, drivers have greater road awareness and preparedness in poor visibility conditions.

“With fore-warning of road conditions, off ramps and turns, you are also less likely to pull off potentially dangerous maneuvers,” says Du Chenne.

GPS is designed to plot the shortest route to a destination so it is always advisable to first check the route on a map before leaving to make sure it doesn’t take you through undesirable places.

Du Chenne concludes saying that motorists should study their GPS user manuals to get to grips with the features and functions they offer.

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