Don’t Throw Out the Atlas!

January 6th, 2013 by

Smartphone IconYou might have had that thick old Rand McNally atlas in your back seat or buried in your trunk for a decade, perhaps it even belonged to your parents, but the next time you clean out your car, give yourself a few minutes before you think about throwing it out. The temptation can be high to dispatch with old cumbersome things like atlases in this day and age, but I’m here to tell you exactly why you shouldn’t.

I’ve got a Cell Phone, GPS, and Printed Directions

That’s what I told myself, at least, the last time I went on a vacation with some friends. I had my smartphone just in case the trusty GPS failed me, and then, for the absolute worst-case scenario, I had printed off Mapquest directions. I was worried that I was being too prepared here, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

Because after buying my latest car just a couple of years ago, I left my atlas in the back seat of my old car, and by the time I realized what I had done, I figured it probably wouldn’t matter. You are always too prepared until you are underprepared, and there we were, halfway across the country with zero bars of reception, a GPS telling us to turn down a long dirt road, and Mapquest directions telling us that the way our phones, then our GPS, told us to go was clearly incorrect.

Now, the atlas might just add another piece of confusion into the mix, except for one crucial thing: it’s the job of companies like Rand McNally and their competitors to know the crisscrossing highways of this country. GPS and smartphone technology is, well, adequate at best, and I really should have known better than to trust directions printed from the internet by this point.

But there we were, trying to figure out what to do while I cursed the fact that I had ditched my atlas.

We tempted fate and opted for the long dirt road which, eventually, became a much more paved road taking us back onto a familiar highway, but not a single one of us was happy to head down that path once we finally made the decision.

Stay on Track with Middletown Honda

We think all the latest gadgets like GPS systems can certainly enhance the driving experience, making road trips, and life in general, easier. But when you learn to depend on them is when their failure could be dire. So always keep an atlas in your car; you’ll be glad you did some day.