A recently released study conducted by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute concluded that drivers using GPS navigators have lower stress and workload as they drive, feel safer, travel more efficiently, and save time and gas.
The researchers, in a study partially sponsored by GPS maker TomTom, surveyed US GPS users, but also conducted an instrumented car study to reach their conclusions.
In the survey:
- 77 percent pf American users agreed with the statement that they are more in control during their trip when using a navigation system.
- 53 percent of the respondents said they feel more alert on the road and in traffic (37 percent of users did not observe a difference in alertness on the road since they have been using a navigation system).
- 72 percent feel less stressed since they have been using their navigation system.
- 66 percent claim to use a navigation system to feel more relaxed while driving (21 percent of users neither agreed nor disagreed with this statement).
Perhaps equally important in these times of high fuel prices, the instrumented vehicle studies showed that use of an in-car GPS reduces distances traveled and therefore reduces fuel use over time.
To conduct the instrumented vehicle study, the Transportation Institute recruited 38 participants ranging from 21 to 50 years old, with 18 males and 20 females.
The vehicle study revealed significantly less workload on drivers using GPS, fewer driving errors, and less unsafe driving due to lack of distraction of map reading or being lost.