5 Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving With GPS

Recently, a California appeals court ruled that it is illegal to manipulate a cell phone’s GPS app while driving. You are still allowed to use a mapping app, as long as you don’t interact with it while behind the wheel.

We at CoPilot have always been advocates for safe use of technology while driving and we’ve specifically designed our CoPilot family of in-vehicle guidance apps to be as non-distracting as possible. Our turn icons are large and clear, maps uncluttered, voice-guided directions precise, and we avoid having the user input information or need to touch the screen while driving.

That said, there are some additional ways in which you can adjust your CoPilot to maximize safety and minimize distraction. Please consider the following tips when using the app. Safe driving!

– Barry Glick, EVP & General Manager, ALK


1. Plan your route before you go

The most distracting thing about any GPS application is entering the destination address. Even if you are selecting an address from your saved places, or one of the millions of CoPilot points of interest, your eyes are off the road. Keep your focus where it should be by planning ahead before you drive off.

If you have multiple stops to make, take advantage of CoPilot’s trip optimization feature. It allows you to plan the optimal route around even the most complex itinerary.

trip optimize stops

2. Pull over if your route changes

If your route changes along the way, or you have the wrong destination entered, pull over in a safe location before making adjustments. Studies have shown the being lost is as distracting to driving as checking your phone. While CoPilot aims to keep you from being lost by automatically recalculating your route if you miss a turn, there is always the possibility of a change of plan. Better to take a few extra minutes to do this safely. Never attempt to make changes while you are driving!


3. Use ActiveTraffic™ to avoid delays on-route

12 months ActiveTraffic service is included with all of our CoPilot Live Premium apps, and optional in our other apps. This real-time traffic service scans your route and incorporates real-time traffic conditions into your ETA. Knowing which route is the fastest will save you the surprise of suddenly encountering slow or stopped traffic. You also won’t be distracted by constantly scanning the radio for traffic updates.

ActiveTraffic Map


4. Customize your route

Know a way across town that is the safest and easiest? Drive a Smart Car and want to avoid 18-wheelers on the highway? CoPilot allows you to customize your routing options.

Tell the app which kinds of roads you prefer and the ones you want to avoid. Drag and drop the route to take the ones you want. Get all of this set before you take off and CoPilot will do the rest.


5. Use a dash or windshield mount

Contrary to popular belief, most distracted driving doesn’t come from what we do with our hands. People use their hands for turn signals, changing the radio, or adjusting their wipers all the time. What is most dangerous is taking your eyes off the road.

With a dashboard or windshield mount for your phone or tablet, you can keep CoPilot’s directions at eye level. A quick glance will tell you your next turn, ETA, speed, route, or traffic conditions. You won’t need to look down or away from the windshield.

As a note of caution, make sure to check your local laws. Some states have restrictions on mounts and where they can be placed. Also, never place one directly in your field of vision.

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