Long Distance Driving – Are There Advantages to a Dedicated GPS or the Smartphone?

Long distance driving is full of complications. Whether you’ve put a dent in your bank account to purchase your new vehicle, or got some extra financing help from a company like AA, all experiences are the same when it comes to long distance driving. Said experiences are typically described as being ‘hellish’ due to the complications that endlessly arise.

Of course, there’s the need to stop, rest and refuel, as well as numerous road signs to follow and maps to study. It’s even been said that some men won’t ask for directions if they get lost, but this is of course strongly up for debate. In any event, long distance driving is surely difficult, especially in areas unfamiliar to the driver.

That said, there are certain advantages to be had here with a dedicated GPS, and indeed, a smartphone. Let’s see what they are below.


Running your satnav through a smartphone has numerous advantages. The most obvious benefit to start with is clearly the screen size, accommodating bigger images and more detail from the smartphones wider and clearer screens. While this might seem trivial, it’s certainly easier to get your bearings when you can see more of what’s around your vicinity.

Of course, with a smartphone comes internet access too. You can map out more than just a route here and learn about many other things involving your journey; information on the area you’re visiting, pictures of said area, rest stops, nearest hotels and service stations and more. There’s more knowledge to grasp onto here, making the long distance driving more planned and refined as an experience.

This all being said, you’ll need to pullover every time you risk using your smartphone – even for satnav. Not doing so risks the safety of yourself and others, and of course, you’ll breaking numerous road laws.

Dedicated GPS

Without a doubt, the in-car systems are safest to use. This is because they’re mounted on the dashboard and are thereby located nearer to the eyeline of the user. They don’t need to be held to be used; just a quick glance or swipe with a finger will get the satnav operational. While the permanent fixture of the satnav might annoy some who want to pullover and start swiping away at it, it’s a lot more convenient to use during transit.

Moreover, if there’s voice recordings featured in the dedicated GPS, these will feed directly into the car’s speakers. This makes it an intrinsic part of your car, and sound from your radio will be scaled down and automatically adjusted to accommodate the satnav so it can voice instructions. Put simply, the dedicated GPS feels like a key part of your vehicle, rather than just a tacked-on app that can be used at intermittent periods.

Ultimately, where the smartphone has multiple uses, the dedicated GPS has only one. After all, it’s worth asking the question; is it better for a product to do several things to an average standard, or be dedicated to seamlessly performing one job at an expert standard? The dedicated GPS is designed for the car and the driver, making it superior to the smartphone in long distance driving.



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