There’s more traffic on the roads these day’s than ever and driving, for some older people can be quite stressful. New laws, rules, regulations, aggressive driving, traffic jams, can all take the pleasure out of driving. However there are some aids and devices available to drivers that can help take some of the stress out of driving.
So just what is available to help drivers?
Satellite navigation or (GPS) devices use satellites that circle the Earth in precise orbits every day, transmitting signals to earth. GPS receivers take this information and use triangulation to calculate the user’s exact location. Just type in your destination before setting off on your journey and you’ll never get lost again.
Sat Nav gives drivers directions either audibly, visually, or both. It takes some of the stress out of constantly looking for signposts or junction signs on the motorway, or stopping to look at maps, and lets you concentrate primarily on your driving. Sat Nav is one of these devices you think you don’t really need, but once you try it you wonder how you ever managed to do without it.
They are easy to install and use and are coming down in price daily-which is good news! The units vary considerably in style and price, but a decent system can be purchased for just over £100, although it is worth looking out for special offers. You can buy them through car accessory shops, High Street Electrical stores and most PC software and hardware suppliers.
Speed Camera Detectors
No matter where you go these days there seems to be speed cameras just waiting to pounce on you for being over the speed limit. Now while we all should drive safely within the speed limit, there are times when you can lose concentration or become caught up in traffic and suddenly find yourself travelling in excess of the speed limit.
Nobody wants to end up with points on their licence and speed detector cameras can take away some of that worry. Most car accessory shops stock them and they are easy to fit yourself.
Parking spots especially in cities are at a premium and some of the available spots can be quite tight when trying to reverse into them. Some designs of modern cars -with small high rear windows- make reversing quite difficult and especially if your mobility is slightly restricted a parking sensor device can be a real boon. Parking sensors will detect obstacles behind you and help you manoeuvre into those tight spots without damaging your own, or someone else’s vehicle.
Ultrasonic devices are the most common and these involve a number of sensors being placed on the rear bumper. They emit ultrasonic radio waves that bounce off obstacles and alert you of the danger. Electromagnetic devices are also available and these generate an electro-magnetic field which senses any change in the terrain behind the vehicle. You only get a warning from this device when you are moving and not when you’re stationary. This type of sensor is ideal if you have a towbar fitted. The safety implications of a device like this are obvious and can make parking a lot less stressful. You can fit these devices yourself, or have it done at a garage.
Hands Free Phone Kits
It’s now an offence for anyone to use a mobile phone while driving. Using a hands-free kit removes the temptation to pick up the phone, or avoids you having to find somewhere to stop to make or answer an important call. There are a lot of choices available so you should choose one that you will be comfortable using. You can buy earsets, which are relatively cheap, but they do have wires which can be a bit obstructive and pose a bit of a problem. Speakerphones usually plug into your car lighter socket and are totally hands free, leaving you to concentrate on your driving. The quality of these devices vary as you are some distance away from the device and it can seem like you are talking through a tunnel to people on the other end of the line.
Some phones have built in speakerphones and are ideal as you can take them anywhere. You can buy a holder for the phone and position it on your dashboard leaving it easily accessible.
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