Although talking on your smartphone while driving can put yourself and others around you at risk, this piece of technology can still be beneficial while you’re driving. As long as you use it responsibly and not interact with the device while actually driving, you can save time and money by using it as an efficient tool more valuable than the GPS devices of old. Your smartphone could become one of the most prolific units installed in your car.
When in the process of driving, hands-free environments can offer a great deal of functionality while reducing the risk of personal injury. Dashboard mounts can be installed quite easily and support most smartphone make and models. These units are usually inexpensive and can save you from getting pulled over. This is aside from the use of making GPS navigation much easier to see while driving.
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The first tool in the smartphone itself that can be beneficial to driving, and probably the most obvious, is the GPS locator within the unit. Instead of paying for services from a standalone GPS device, your phone can provide most of the same information. In fact, some applications can also depict traffic delays and road usage as well as standalone units can. Apps such as Google Maps can display real time driving activity – as long as you’re still receiving cell service or roaming.
Finding Nearby Stores and Shops
After pulling over, you can use your smartphone to find nearby stores and restaurants complete with hours of operation as well as contact information. These locations can be displayed with color-coded keys that can show whether a business is open or closed. It can also display information regarding the business so you can make sure it offers the products for which you’re looking.
Finding Nearby Gas Stations
When traveling great distances, the lack of a gas station could add to someone’s panic as the gauge steadily drops to “E.” The right app can not only help you find a nearby gas station, but it could offer estimated prices as well as display the location on a map. When there is no one nearby that can help you find directions before the gas tank is empty, these apps can direct you to the closest station.
Integrate Your Phone with Your Car Stereo
Integrating your smartphone with the automobile can do more than allow you to play MP3s directly through the vehicle stereo system. By using Bluetooth enabled phones and stereos, you can make phone calls while using voice recognition or Bluetooth microphones. Many aftermarket add-ons for Bluetooth are available for most stereo systems and are usually inexpensive. Just don’t have the volume turned up too loud on private conversations as those outside of your vehicle could be eavesdropping.
While smartphones are heavily used as an entertainment vessel, these units have everything you need to be an invaluable tool for nearly any situation. Before your next road trip, build a strategy to use your phone outside of talking and texting. You may find other uses for the technology that may amaze you.