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 are uncluttered, voice-guided directions precise, and we’ve designed the apps to avoid having the driver input information or need to touch the screen while driving.
In addition, 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!
- 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.
- 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 that 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!
- Use ActiveTraffic™ to avoid delays on-route
12 months ActiveTraffic service is included with all of our CoPilot 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.
- 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 motorway? 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.
- 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. Also, never place one directly in your field of vision.
- Know your vehicle’s restrictions
If you are travelling across Europe, you might travel in an RV or other large vehicle. Make sure you know your vehicle’s height, weight, and cargo restrictions. Last thing you want is to approach a bridge and not know if your roof will make it to the other side. CoPilot Truck applications can help with specific routing options for RVs or other large vehicles.
- Make sure you are using offline maps
If you are driving in remote areas, driving past a big event such as a football game or concert, or your mobile operator has some issues, mobile signal might be low or non-existent, leaving you without a map. With CoPilot’s offline maps you can make sure that you will have the map and directions always visible – whatever the network status might be.
- Get rid of screen clutter
Some other GPS apps pride themselves on their high levels of interactivity. The map display is littered with icons that move, blink, or otherwise distract you from driving.
CoPilot was designed to be as unobtrusive to driving as possible. We allow you to turn off Points of Interest icons while the car is moving. Our “Directions View” displays only the written direction for the next turn. Once you approach your turn, the app will automatically switch over and show you the map, exactly what lane you need to be in, and realistic views of exit signs. There is nothing extraneous included to take your attention off that SUV that decided to exit at the last second without a turn signal.
- Plug your phone into a charger
By the nature of what they do, GPS apps use a lot of battery power. It takes some juice to talk to a satellite in geosynchronous orbit! There are some things you can do increase battery life like using our Power Saving feature, Directions View, or turning down your screen’s brightness.
Even with these precautions, it is safer to have your phone or tablet charging while using CoPilot. This way, you won’t be grabbing behind the seat or rummaging through the glove box to find your charger. You especially don’t want the app to turn off just before reaching that confusing intersection.
- Resist the urge to fiddle
We all have the constant urge to check, double check, or otherwise fiddle with our phones. I know I get the itch to check an email or text as soon as it arrives. But you can’t while driving. It’s dangerous for you and for others.
Enjoy driving. Embrace it as a time to unplug and not check your phone every two minutes. And this goes for your GPS app, too. Let it do its job. If you have programmed it correctly with your destination, travel preferences, and traffic notifications, it will get you there. Relax. You have a CoPilot with you.