Q: I’m writing to you to ask if you might know where the signal is that I can only assume is the method to tell current “smarter” cars what the speed limit is on the road or highway they are currently driving. I wonder how accurate they really are.

A: My advice is to not solely rely on the displayed GPS speed reading for your vehicle’s actual speed. Your vehicle’s speedometer is the best way to determine how fast you are traveling.

A GPS is a positional speedometer. It will show your speed based on the average distance covered off of several readings over the last few seconds and are generally accurate under normal driving conditions. The speed readings could be inaccurate if there is a temporary loss of signal.

Avoid distractions and always set your destination on your navigation system prior to driving, and remember the new hands free law that is currently being enforced in Minnesota.

The new law allows a driver to use their cellphone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone.

Always be alert and be aware of the posted speed limit signs while driving. Remember that the speed limits start and end at where the signs are located.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Sgt. Jesse Grabow – Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at jesse.grabow@state.mn.us.

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