Remember a few pages back where we said to leave the gadgets alone? Well, we need to qualify that statement -- because sometimes gadgets can be life savers. Just make sure you're at a complete stop (parked) when you use them.
Among the gadgets that can get you out of a late-night predicament:
- A cell phone lets you call for help in the event of a breakdown, accident, or even if you're too tired or tipsy to drive
- A GPS navigation system can prevent you from getting lost in a shady area; many units have a nighttime setting that inverts light and dark colors -- making the unit easier to read at night and also less distracting
- Integrated "telematics" systems such as Toyota's Entune and Ford Sync can provide directions not only for where you are, but to the nearest rest stop, police station, or motel at which to rest your weary head; and of course, there's the granddaddy of major carmaker telematics systems -- GM's OnStar, which can automatically detect if you've been in an accident and call emergency services for you
- On some higher-end cars, infra-red night vision is available; these systems can spot obstacles, people and animals seconds before they enter the range of your vehicle's headlights, providing crucial added reaction time