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Tips to maximize your navigation app this holiday

2018-12-27 23:30
Google maps

Image: iStock

Before navigation apps, there were only a few who knew the 'back road'. The majority of drivers just stuck to the routes that transport planners specifically designated as the preferred ways to get from one destination to another.

However today, in an attempt to follow the 'best route', apps don't necessarily differentiate between roads built for high volume traffic and those that are not. In addition to congested freeways, there are now also congested side streets.

READ: Switch the tape! This is how people used cassette navigation back in the 70's

Navigation apps can make your trip easier you just need to use them smartly. To help you this holiday season, AutoTrader CEO George Mienie shares some insights into how to slip into the driver’s seat, and maximise your navigation app functionality. 

Don't accept every route change

Navigation in car

                                                                             Image: iStock

"Navigation apps often suggest re-routing to save time. Sometimes it's a good idea, and sometimes it’s not. Only accept the route change when it will save you more than five minutes of time. It's not worth going out of your way to save one or two minutes, especially on long-haul trips," says Mienie.

Avoid turning right

right turn sign

                                                                            Image: iStock

"Research shows that turning right carries a higher risk of collision. If possible, monitor the choices your app makes, and add your expertise by making safer ones," says Mienie.

Pick one app and stick to it 

"Getting to know your app well is crucial. Every app has its quirks, which can work for or against you. The most popular platforms are Google Maps and Waze, each has its own advantage, Waze being more detailed, but Google offers a more streamlined experience," says Mienie.

"Each app has its disadvantages and it’s important to know yours. For example, do high-rise building throw your app’s GPS off? Understanding where your app may fall short, and compensating with your own knowledge is key to a better experience," he adds.

Do some research about your destination

"Having a little knowledge of the layout of your destination is incredibly useful. Large places such as universities or shopping malls may be incorrectly mapped in your app," says Mienie.

couple lost with map

                                                                         Image: iStock

"Apps generally do exactly what you ask them to. Often the app could be going to the street address specified but in a different suburb or taking the shortest route through a relatively unsafe area. It’s up to the user to take a moment to check that the app is on the right track," he adds.

Review the route before leaving

Google maps

                                                                                 Image: iStock

"If you’re going to have to make quick-succession turns or cross major roads, you’ll want to be prepared for them. Spending a few moments reviewing your route will help you make better split-second decisions while you're driving," says Mienie.

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