Satellite Navigation systems have been a godsend to many UK motorists making days far more productive now that hours aren’t spent lost on B roads trying to follow an atlas. But research has showed that a third of motorists have got lost following satellite navigation and twenty two percent say they are actually distracted by the screens and the audible turn by turn directions. One in ten drivers admitted to using the controls on their satellite navigation system while driving the car instead of programming the route before starting the journey and over half admitted that doing so took their eyes off the road and could have led to accidents.
Sales of sat navs grow all the time but research shows that used incorrectly the equipment can be more of a hindrance than a help. Earlier this year a taxi driver went into the River Nar in Norfolk in an eight seater minibus, a woman wrote off her £96,000 Mercedes when she was led into a river in Warwickshire. The reason these problems occur is that the sat nav system will usually devise the shortest route from A to B for the driver, and will not differentiate between unclassified and classified roads.
Tom Tom, a leading manufacturer of sat nav systems in the UK admitted earlier in the year that they received on average 100 complaints a week from drivers who had been sent the wrong way by their systems. They are working alongside motorists and independent mapping companies to sort out the issues. The AA said drivers should use common sense if the roads they have been directed down appear unsuitable for through traffic, what you see through the windscreen must take priority over what it says, if the road doesn’t seem suitable then don’t use it.