GPS tracking devices have an enormous number and range of different applications. They can be used to give us directions, track lost things and improve the efficiency of business fleets. But they can also save lives and keep us safe. Here are just 5 uses for fitting GPS trackers that could make us all safer…
1. Protecting elderly relatives
Keeping elderly relatives safe while giving them as much independence, privacy and freedom as possible can be a tough balancing act. This is where fitting GPS trackers can be incredibly helpful. They can be used as personal tracking devices, worn on the wrist or round the neck – or simply kept in the person’s favourite bag.
If you have a family member you’re concerned about, perhaps one that is frail or suffering from a form of dementia, a personal tracker gives you the means to keep an eye on them without invading their privacy. If they agree to use the tracker, you can just check in now and again to make sure they are ok and in a location you expect them to be. If they have wandered off or got lost, the technology locates your relative instantly so you can bring them home safely.
Many GPS personal trackers also come with panic buttons, yet another useful tool for an elderly or poorly relative. If the person falls or is in trouble, they can press the panic button and you will receive an instant alert.
2. Keeping an eye on teen drivers
It’s a nervy time when your teenager first starts to drive. It’s crucial to trust them, but it’s only natural to worry about the safety of your child while out on the road. If you’re concerned, you can use a GPS tracker in their vehicle to give you peace of mind.
Many parents make fitting a car with a GPS tracking device as a condition of the teen being able to drive the vehicle. This way, the teen knows the car is being tracked and will hopefully drive with plenty of care.
As well as making sure their child is driving safely, parents can also use GPS trackers to check in on where their teens are driving to. If they get lost, the tracker aids fast recovery. If they say they’re going one place and the tracker shows the vehicle in another, you have the evidence to back a serious telling off.
3. Lost? Turn on your GPS tracker
Fans of GPS believe everyone should have a tracker fitted to their vehicle. They can potentially be life-saving in many situations. If you get lost on a stormy night or accidentally drive off the road in the middle of nowhere, or are injured in an accident and can’t seek help, an active GPS tracker can broadcast your location. Your loved ones can use this vital information to send the emergency services straight to you, which could save your life.
4. Acting fast in an emergency
We all know that driving can be a dangerous activity, but so can boating, camping, mountain climbing and many other activities. You may want to go ‘off grid’ for your outdoor adventures without any technology, but what if something happens? The actor Paul Nicholls, best known for his role in EastEnders, recently made the headlines after he was badly injured while on holiday in Thailand. He fell from the top of a jungle waterfall and his mobile phone was broken, leaving him stranded with two broken legs, a shattered knee and hypothermia for three days – and no means to contact help or raise the alarm. He was lucky to have been found in time and extremely fortunate to be alive, with locals only finding him after spotting his abandoned rental motorbike nearby. Had he been wearing a GPS tracker, teams of rescue workers could have reached him the same day.
If you are out on your own, either driving or doing an outdoor activity, and an accident should happen – would anyone know about it and be able to help? This is the question you should ask yourself before preparing for any expedition, and fitting GPS trackers could be a vital thing to pack.
5. Ensuring safe driving of fleet vehicles
More businesses are fitting GPS trackers in their fleet vehicles and this is good news for everyone. It means that drivers are accountable for their actions, so reckless or dangerous drivers won’t get away with putting other road users’ lives at risk.
With GPS trackers, a fleet manager can monitor hundreds or even thousands of vehicles from one console or dashboard, even if the vehicles are located in different parts of the world. Fleet managers can see everything from the direction and location to the speed of the vehicle at any given time. They are usually looking for ways to improve fuel efficiency, productivity and efficiency, but they can also keep a check on driving practices. If a vehicle is travelling too fast or driving recklessly in any other way, the fleet manager can call in the driver. The driver can then be retrained or disciplined. The result? Safer roads for everyone.
GPS tracking can also be useful for situations when fleet vehicles are involved in road traffic accidents. The technology provides the vital evidence of the location of a vehicle during the time of the accident, including what direction it was travelling in and how fast it was going.
GPS trackers and self-driving cars
Another interesting area in which GPS trackers can potentially save lives is self-driving vehicle technology, which is fast becoming a reality. Most road traffic accidents occur due to human error or lapses in judgement, which is what self-driving car designers aim to reduce or eliminate. These vehicles will use super-powerful GPS and other sensors to know which lane a car is in, what else is nearby and what obstacles are in the way as the vehicle travels on a pre-determined path. It’s a fascinating technological development, but time will only tell if it will make driving safer.