what is the Best GPS Tracker for Seniors? Motorists experience driving mishaps every day. Fortunately, most of these mishaps turn out to be the only minor, which is always a big plus for everyone involved. In the past, motorists relied on other motorists to get from point A to point B in unfamiliar locations. Today, motorists rely on a much safer and reliable alternative, the Global Positioning System, better known on America’s vast highway system as a GPS.
A GPS can help motorists get from point A to point B without getting lost. There are many benefits of these systems. But, for family and friends of senior parents and grandparents, the GPS could be the difference in a successful arrival and a dangerous situation. With this said, there are various brands and versions currently on the market.
Unfortunately, not all of these options are created equal. To help ensure your decision-making process goes smoothly and quickly, a list of the best car GPS navigators for seniors are listed in the article below, along with a few FAQs and a buying guide.
Best GPS For Seniors – Locate Seniors In Seconds
The Drive 51 by Garmin is an easy to use GPS for seniors. The interface is not very complex, making it ideal for non-tech-savvy motorists. One of the biggest benefits of Drive 51 for seniors is its lifetime map system. It comes preloaded with American maps, eliminating the need to upload or download after the initial purchase. While more and more seniors are learning more about technology, uploading and downloading data is still foreign to most elderly individuals.
- Road Alerts
Driving in unfamiliar areas poses risks for all motorists, especially seniors. To minimize the risks, the Garmin Drive 51 GPS is integrated with data regarding potentially dangerous areas on U.S. highways and roadways. Drive 51 transmits a warning to motorists, alerting of potential danger ahead. Instead of approaching dangerous areas unaware, motorists know what to expect. So, they can reduce the speed in plenty of time to avoid any danger in the warning areas.
Drive 51 sends out alerts associated with changing speed limits, redlight speed cameras, wild animal crossings, dangerous curves, and railroad crossings. These warnings will reduce the risk of damage to your vehicle, speeding tickets, and other harms senior motorists face when driving in high-risk areas.
- Integrated With TripAdvisor Technology
Young motorists can spend more time behind the wheel than seniors. For this reason, it is recommended for senior motorists to take frequent breaks from the road when driving long distances. In many cases, you can utilize the Drive 51 Navigator to locate rest areas, restaurants, city and state parks, and other public areas that are open to temporary loitering. It will also help you locate hotels, inns, motels, bed & breakfast rentals, and other temporary rental facilities.
Depending on your location, there may be as many as six of these rental facilities to choose from. To help ensure you locate suitable overnight accommodations for yourself and your family, the integrated TripAdvisor technology offers customer reviews of nearly all U.S. rental facilities.
Some manufacturers partner with Foursquare instead of TripAdvisor to offer the same service. Both companies operate in a similar manner, collecting customer ratings and written reviews for points of interest.
- Fantastic Resolution
Clear visibility is a necessity when it comes to the functionality of the GPS. Without clear visibility, motorists would struggle to see the display while driving. To eliminate the possibility of poor visibility, Garmin designed its Drive 51 GPS with a 480 x 272-pixel resolution. All motorists, including seniors who utilize visual aid, such as contact lenses and glasses, should face no issues viewing the display screen. In fact, the resolution is so good that even the fine details should be clearly visible.
You shouldn’t even need to bend forward or take your eyes off the road more than a few nanoseconds to read the displayed information. You will not miss a beat with the Garmin Drive 51.
The Go 620 GPS by TomTom has a unique feature that is very rare. This feature is voice-activation technology, which allows seniors to control the GPS utilizing voice commands. If you are accustomed to taking phone calls while driving, you know the dangers this behavior poses for motorists of all ages. In many U.S. states, it is illegal to utilize a mobile phone when sitting behind the wheel unless you are in a safe location like a parking lot of a rest area, restaurant, or retail store.
- Receive And Make Calls With Voice Commands
Now, you know the dangers of utilizing a mobile phone while driving, do you still want to repeat this behavior in the future? It is very tempting to respond to incoming phone calls and text messages from family and friends. But, in the long run, the risks are not worth taking. You can always wait until you find a safe location, which can be impossible for interstates.
To allow motorists to continue driving and answer phone calls, the TomTom Go 620 is embedded with voice-activation technology. Utilizing this technology, you can respond to all incoming calls utilizing voice commands. You will never even need to touch your cellphone or GPS throughout the entire process.
- Onboard Wi-Fi Module
Unlike some GPS navigators, Go 620 is integrated with a Wi-Fi module. This feature allows motorists to update the Go 620 software without a laptop, desktop computer, or iPhone. When an update is required, you will just need to approve it, no connecting directly to a computer or other electronic device.
This is the simplest and quickest way to update a GPS. GPS software updates are generally not that frequent. But, when an update is required, you have to stop what you are doing to connect the GPS to a computer. Fortunately, this is not the case with Go 620. No Ethernet or wireless connection is required for software updates.
- Diverse Extensive Map System
The diverse Go 620 map system consists of several countries, including, the United States, Mexico, and Canada. Instead of switching from one GPS when exiting and entering one of these countries, the Go 620 is all you need. The system has maps of all U.S. states, Canadian provinces and territories, and Mexican states, making this the ideal GPS for over-the-road travelers.
If you are on the market for one of the best GPS for cars and seniors, you should look no further than the Via 1625TM Via by TomTom. The unit comes with all the bells and whistles needed to get from point A to point B without going off track. As an easy to use GPS, Via 1625TM delivers traffic data in real-time, allowing motorists enough time to make adjustments in their driving schedules to accommodate for traffic congestion associated with motor vehicle accidents.
- Finds Quickest Detours For Traffic Problems
There is nothing more frustrating for motorists than being delayed by a motor vehicle accident. While all motorists face the save highways risks, one thing is for sure, they do not want to be involved in a collision. Depending on the severity of the MVA, it could take up to 30 minutes or a few hours to clear away leftover debris.
Respecting victims of motor vehicle accidents does not involve hours of delay. You can still show your respect by taking a detour, avoiding the collision altogether. Unfortunately, not every motorist is privy to back road data. But, with the Via 1625TM on-hand, this information will be at your fingertips 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Not only will the Via 1625TM GPS alert when an accident is ahead but also provide you with the quickest detour option. You decide if sitting in traffic for hours something you want to do or avoid the situation altogether by taking a quick detour. Whatever you decide to do, the TomTom Via will be right there with you through the thick and thin.
- Advanced Notifications
Do you ever feel like your GPS is leading you astray? Well, you are not alone. Some GPS units fail to provide advance notice of upcoming turns. Every motorist needs at least three minutes to prepare for a turn. Even more, time is needed when you are in the left lane and need to turn right. Whatever the situation may be, an advance warning would definitely be helpful in all turning situations.
Foreign travelers struggle to get from point A to point B without assistance. This is especially true when dealing with people of different languages than your own. To eliminate travel issues related to language barriers, TomTom designed its Via 1625TM with multilingual technology. You can choose up to 30 different languages, including English, French, and Spanish.
Garmin has really outdone itself with its Drive 61 Navigator. This GPS is embedded with state-of-the-art technologies and components to help senior motorists access some of America’s most dangerous highways smoothly. What makes Garmin’s GPS units stand out above its many competitors is the TripAdvisor software, which provides motorists with top-rated motels, tourist attractions, restaurants, and inns.
- TripAdvisor Software
Garmin partners with TripAdvisor to help American motorists locate 5-star rating public facilities like pubs, diners, cafes, movie theaters, museums, parks, and other points of interest. Traveling in unfamiliar cities, states, townships, municipalities, and counties poses some difficulties for all motorists. This is especially true when it comes to booking overnight accommodations.
With the TripAdvisor software integration, the Garmin Drive 61 helps motorists locate the best points of interest in metropolis, rural, and suburban areas. This software takes all the guesswork out of trying to find a suitable hotel to stay in for the night or restaurant to dine at.
All of the facilities listed in the TripAdvisor software is rated by real consumers. You can bank on these customer ratings getting it right every time.
- Highway Alerts
Highways, roadways, and interstates pose dangerous for motorists of all ages. But, older motorists face the most risks, especially when driving in unfamiliar territories. Well, do not fret, the Garmin 61 GPS guarantees your trips will be safer. How is this possible? The GPS utilizes an alert system that transmits warnings associated with areas that pose risks for motorists.
For example, am unaware motorist driving 55 miles per hour is approaching a construction zone when the GPS issues a warning. The alert gave the motorist plenty of time to prepare. The motorist slows down to 35 miles per hour and safely passes through the road construction without a hitch.
These highway alerts have the potential to reduce motor vehicle accidents. The alerts come with plenty of advance warning, allowing drivers to adjust their speeds.
Buying Guide – GPS For Seniors Easy To Use
Mentioned previously, most older motorists do not keep up with the latest technologies, such as the GPS navigator. Fortunately, some GPS manufacturers have taken this into consideration. Instead of utilizing complex interfaces, these manufacturers integrated their GPS units with interfaces that are as simplistic as a children’s textbook. Of course, it is never this simple but with simplistic features, technologies, and displays, the GPS can be the easiest tech device you will ever deal with.
The easiest GPS for seniors is one with a simplistic design, voice-activated technology, real-time alerts, quick detour options, and highway feedback that is easy to retrieve. Whether you are purchasing this GPS for your vehicle or elderly family member’s vehicle, there are several factors that must be considered to ensure you get the easiest GPS to use for seniors on the first attempt. These factors are listed below for your shopping convenience.
Every GPS comes with a manufacturer’s warranty. Unfortunately, not all of these manufacturer’s warranties are created equal. The ones to avoid are those with limitations. For example, a six-month warranty would be considered limited when compared to those with a longer coverage period. To protect your investment, the manufacturer’s warranty should offer at least 12 months of coverage.
As with any technological device, a software issue could lead to a total malfunction. If the underlying problem behind the malfunction is not covered under the warranty, you will have to pay out-of-pocket for the repairs. The consumer’s goal is to purchase a budget GPS for a car with a decent warranty. This should not be difficult with the many options on the market.
- Display Size
While it may appear the display size is unimportant, this could not be further than the truth. Size matters a lot when it comes to a GPS display. If the display is too small, the elderly motorist may experience visibility issues. It really depends on your vision preferences and needs. But, most experts recommend a 6-inch display for older motorists who utilize visual aid, such as glasses and contact lenses.
A 6-inch display will boast larger print, better graphics, and higher resolution. Yes, resolution matters as well. This number refers to the vertical and horizontal pixels that appear on the screen. HD resolution will always be your best option because it has more pixels, resulting in better overall clarity.
- Hands-Free Calling
Another key feature that can be found on the easiest GPS to use is hands-free calling. This features utilizes smart technology to allow motorists to accept incoming and make outgoing calls. Many elderly motorists find this technology very helpful, especially when they find themselves in compromising situations.
To take advantage of this feature, you simply issue a command, such as “accept a call from Henry.” This is just an example, as all GPS units utilize unique voice commands for different purposes like a hands-free calling.
You will receive an instruction booklet with your new GPS. Here is where you will find information about hands-free calling. Again, this technology could play a major role in keeping senior motorists safe on the road.
- Free Map Updates
American roadways are continuously changing to make way for new residential and commercial development. Unaware motorists traveling in these areas do not know what to expect, which is where the GPS comes into play.
As cities, states, and towns alter their highways and country roads, local motorists are given ample warnings. This cannot be said about out-of-town motorists. Something as simple as a road name change can throw off motorists for weeks or months. To reduce confusion among all motorists, GPS manufacturers work around the clock to keep their highway maps updated. Frequent updates are expensive for GPS manufacturers. If you are not careful, these risks will be passed on to you and other consumers through paid updates.
Again, GPS manufacturers continuously update their map software programs to keep up with the ever-changing U.S. highway system. To avoid additional expenses, it is crucial to only consider brands that offer free map software updates.
Most manufacturers post this information on their websites. If you cannot find update information about a specific brand, it is recommended to contact the manufacturer via email or landline. But, do not stop until you know if future map updates are free. If you do not heed to this recommendation, you could end up spending hundreds of dollars for map updates over the life of a GPS.
- Easy Installation
When the first GPS was released to the market, consumer information was very limited. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. In all actuality, the first GPS installed in a vehicle was probably completed by a professional. Evidence shows the first vehicle to receive a GPS system was a Mazda in 1990. This is the first of thousands if not millions of automobile GPS installations.
In 1990, the GPS was foreign to American consumers. There were no other technological devices to compare the GPS to. Today, just about every new vehicle that rolls off the assembly line has a high-tech GPS navigator.
From complex to simple is how some experts describe changes in the way GPS navigators are installed in vehicles. Today, the non-tech-savvy motorist can install a GPS in his/her vehicle in less than an hour. A tech-savvy driver could possibly complete the task in half this time. Whatever the case may be, having tech experience should not matter when it comes to a GPS installation.
The installation goals for most motorists is quick and easy. If this sounds like your ideal GPS installation, you are in luck because manufacturers have been listening to what consumers say about their installation processes.
In the modern world, finding a hard-to-install GPS navigator is difficult or impossible, depending on how you look at it. Review the installation process before making your initial purchase. All GPS navigators require a power source, which in this is the car battery.
- Comprehensible Verbal Driving Instructions
Most GPS units utilize written and verbal driving instructions. When you are behind the wheel, it is not a good idea to take your eyes off the road for more than a few nanoseconds. To ensure driver safety, oral instructions are a must. Motorists need to be able to comprehend the instructions to avoid mishaps.
Some manufacturers have taken this one step further by personalizing their oral instructions. Instead of hearing driving directions that are incomprehensible, you hear instructions that are more personal and very comprehensible.
How Much Does GPS Device Cost?
Price is without a doubt a major concern for any consumer these days. Even when it comes to something as important as a GPS system, you have to consider the price. That being said, it really comes down to what you are looking to get out of the device. Do you just want a basic device that’ll get you from point A to point B?
Do you want a device that’ll reroute you around bad traffic? Maybe you want one that will forecast the weather as well. Whatever the situation is, you have to look at it like this – the more features you want, the more you’ll pay. If you are looking for something basic, expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $250. Anything more for a basic model and you’ll be way overpaying.
This is much cheaper than going with a factory-installed GPS system, as these devices can cost you anywhere from $500 to $4,000 just for the installation. Throw on the monthly membership fee, and you are looking at a pretty hefty expense right there.
Once again, this is really going to come down to the type of system that you currently have installed in your vehicle. Or, the one that you choose to go with. That being said, most of these systems do come along with detailed instructions and operate in a similar manner.
You basically plug them in, turn them on, and enter in the destination that you are seeking. They’ll pretty much guide you to your location from there. Before doing all this though, you’ll have to set up some basic information like the time, date, and home address.
This will allow the device to sync up with the local severs and acquire the local information that is needed for proper guidance. You’ll also notice that other than just entering the physical address, the device will also allow you to choose from several different categories. You can choose from restaurants, shopping malls, hotels, and tons more. This is a handy search feature if you are looking for something in the area and don’t know the address.
How To Install GPS In A Car?
While there are tons of different installation methods available for corresponding models, most of them will involve affixing the device to the front windshield. Most of today’s model comes with a suction cup holder that allows for easy installation and even easier relocation of the device. Before that though, you’ll have to place the GPS device itself into the holder, which is affixed to the suction device. After locking it into the holder, you can then attach the entire thing to the windshield via the suction device.
Whatever you do, you want to test the device before getting out on the open road to make sure that it doesn’t obstruct your view of oncoming traffic. This is the most important consideration when installing any GPS device.
Once affixed to the windshield and not obstructing your view, you can locate the power cable in the box and attach one end to the device and the other to the power source of the vehicle. It should be pretty clear as to which end goes where. Also, make sure that you have any extra length of the cable tied out of the way, so it doesn’t get in your way when driving.
How To Install Maps On A GPS Device?
In order to install additional maps, you’ll need to connect the GPS device to a computer via the USB port. For more detailed information on this, you’ll have to consult your specific model’s instruction guide or owner’s manual. Each model might be a little different because different providers use different software programs.
Are There Alternatives To The GPS Device?
Thanks to the available technology today, you don’t have to solely rely on a vehicular GPS device. There are all kinds of portable GPS systems and software programs available. There are ones for hunters that you can carry around on your persons, and there are even ones that you can get with your smartphone plan.
Heck, you can likely even take advantage of Google maps applications if you want. All you’ll have to do is download and install an app. Just keep in mind that some of these options might require exorbitant monthly fees. Just make sure you know what you are getting into before you fully commit to anything.
What Is The Easiest Garmin GPS To Use?
People ask this question all the time, and it’s a hard one to answer. This is because there really is no simple answer. You’ll want to look for a device that provides specific features. Specific features that you are comfortable with using. Some individuals are comfortable with voice technology, whereas others are more comfortable with manually entering information. In addition to this, you’ll have to consider the screen of the device. You’ll want a device that provides an extra bright display so you can see what you are doing at all times.
The DriveSmart 61 LMT-S listed here on our list does an excellent job of providing a quality display with its easy to read and see the 6.95-inch display. With a resolution of 1024 x 600, you won’t have a problem deciphering the information needed to get you to your destinations. There is also voice activation navigation available for hands-free operation, which is always a nice feature that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Is Garmin Or TomTom Better?
Once again, this is kind of a question that comes down to what you are looking for in the device. While this will greatly depend on the features, if you are looking for more on the readability side of things, you’ll want to go with the Garmin. Garmin is miles ahead of TomTom when it comes to readability. TomTom is still on its way of improving its icons and appearance, but Garmin is already there. They usually offer large, bright displays that are clear and more than easy to read at night or during the day.
That being said, TomTom devices, on the other hand, are much more powerful when it comes to simultaneous information. Most models usually feature a two-line status bar below the screen that will display and notify you of pertinent traffic information and routes. TomTom also goes way above and beyond when it comes to HD traffic. If you want to get where you are going with ease, taking the easiest and most effective route, TomTom is probably the way to go.
GPS navigators have definitely come a long way since 1990. New technologies and designs have simplified the functionality and usability of most brands. While all drivers could utilize a little reliable driving help from time to time, senior motorists face the most risks on the open highway. A quality GPS navigator could be the difference in being on time or arriving too late.
The GPS system is not only designed to help motorists find their destinations easily and quickly but also to reduce motor vehicle collisions.