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GPS Systems

A GPS can be both a source of distraction and a potential projectile.

iStockphoto/Thinkstock

Sure, a GPS is a distraction, but you have to know where you're going, and it's better than trying to read a map while zipping down the road, right? Wrong. A study by Privilege Insurance found that 19 percent of GPS users were distracted when driving as opposed to only 17 percent of traditional map users [source: Oswald].

While much of this distraction can be remedied by practicing with your GPS and programming a destination prior to take off, an aftermarket GPS introduces two more dangers: the limited sight line and the projectile. If you didn't see that stepladder in the middle of the road, it could be because in that critical split second, your view was blocked by your dash-mounted GPS. And that suction cup is unlikely to keep your GPS screen attached to the dash in a crash, rendering it a potentially dangerous projectile.

Think again before installing a GPS. And if you need food for thought, check out this episode of Mythbusters, which explores the power of in-car projectiles.

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