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Using Your Car Electronics Safely

The best rule of thumb for use of electronics in the car is to always adjust or input information before you go. Fumbling with controls and moving or falling devices can cause a lot of distraction while driving. Here are some things to keep in mind when installing and using mobile video products, GPS navigation devices and portable media players in the car.


MOBILE VIDEO

Many states have regulations regarding the use of video monitors in the car. Make sure you understand your state laws before using or purchasing mobile video products. However there are general regulations on video products depending on the location in the vehicle:

Front-Seat Video Screens

A video monitor installed in direct or indirect view of the driver must utilize a parking brake locking mechanism to prevent front seat viewing of entertainment or business-related video sources.

Rear-Seat Video Screens

A video monitor that does not utilize a parking brake locking mechanism and can display entertainment sources while the vehicle is in motion must be installed to the rear of the driver's seat so it is not directly or indirectly visible to the driver.

GPS NAVIGATION

The benefits of a GPS navigation system far outweigh the negatives, but here are a few guidelines to consider before putting these convenient devices to work.

Mounting the Device

Always mount a portable GPS navigation system inside the vehicle correctly, as loose objects inside the vehicle may become hazardous during sudden stops. Most utilize a suction-cup mounting device, but it is recommended that users refer to the owner's manual for proper installation.

Entering a Destination

Refrain from entering destinations into a GPS navigation device when the vehicle is in motion, as studies show that activities carried out for longer periods of time increase the risk of a driver distraction. The correct way to enter a destination is to do so before the vehicle is in motion. Drivers can also pull over to the side of the road to enter a new destination.

Using a Navigation System

It is recommended that owners of GPS navigation devices check the route through a mapping book or online mapping site before hitting the road. This will cut down on missed turns and unsafe maneuvers. It is also strongly suggested that users keep maps and map books handy in case the GPS navigation device loses the satellite signal.

PORTABLE MEDIA PLAYERS

Portable music or video devices are definitely convenient -- allowing you to bring your favorite music and videos wherever you go. But here are some common sense rules aimed at preventing these great products from becoming dangerous inside the vehicle.

Mount Gear Securely

As with portable GPS navigation units, any portable device inside the vehicle should be securely mounted, or safely stowed away, as loose objects inside the vehicle can be dangerous during sudden stops or accidents.

Connecting Your Portable Product

You can use adaptors that allow you to use a portable player in the car, but these products still require you to use the controls on the player. Instead, we recommend radios equipped with component connection systems, which allow you to use conventional dashboard controls to control your player.