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A police study has found that GPS navigators are causing more accidents, drawing comparisons between GPS units and mobile phones.NSW Police Traffic boss, John Hartley claims that motorists are getting distracted and disoriented by trying to track streets, juggling where they actually are compared where the GPS says they should be, reports the Daily Telegraph. 

“Drivers should not rely solely on GPS devices to reach their destination,” Hartley said.

“In recent times, we have seen crashes and near misses involving drivers who rely only on the information provided by their GPS device.”

Hartley stressed the importance of updating a GPS device regularly, with units running out dated maps divulging incorrect information.

Last year a family who followed incorrect instructions from a GPS unit turned onto a closed road, where they found themselves lost in the NSW outback for 3 nights.

The RTA preached caution when using the navigation units saying, “If you are unfamiliar with the road or unsure of where you are going, slow down and make sure you leave yourself enough time to indicate to other drivers if you need to turn or pull over.”

Last year a test was conducted over a 35km route measuring how much time drivers spend looking at their GPS units. On average, they spent 1.2 seconds glancing at it 90 times.

At a speed of 60km/h, drivers weren’t looking at the road 19 metres at a time.
 
Most GPS units offer a preview feature, running through the route educating drivers before they get into their cars. It’s a great way for drivers to gage where they’re heading, helping them rely a little less on the nifty aid.

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