Are Satnavs distracting?

June 6th, 2012 in Car Safety

Do you get distracted by your Sat Nav?

This morning I was watching BBC news and listening to a news report about Satnavs and how they can be distracting to drivers. A study that researchers at London University's Royal Holloway and Lancaster University completed, suggested that motorists did not drive safely when they are trying to concentrate on the directions given to them by their Satnavs.

Survey about Sat Nav distractions 

Another article was written in 2010 which discussed a survey that was carried out for "Privilege" a car insurance site. The survey was based on 2000 UK drivers and the statistics showed that 19% of the drivers got distracted by their satnavs. 1 in 10 of the drivers admitted to setting the route on their satnav whilst they were driving instead of planning it before the journey. 1 in 8 of the drivers didn't check the route if they had not completed it before and simply relied on the satellite navigation to guide them.

I personally completely rely on my satnav for every car journey I make. I feel that I can drive anywhere and know that I can find my way home if I have my satnav with me. I do agree that it can be a bit distracting; however, I find that if I just concentrate on what the man is saying rather than watching the map, that I find my way better without being distracted. My satnav is particularly annoying as it takes a while to get signal so I try and find the way myself, which usually ends up with me getting lost. I have to leave extra time when I am going somewhere I haven't been before, to make sure that the satnav has signal and I won't get lost.

Sat Nav gets you lost?

There have been a few occasions where my satnav has ended up getting me lost. Once I was driving to a school in Leeds down quite a few rural roads and my satnav told me to turn right so that I would reach my destination. I followed what it said and I ended up on a narrow road leading into a farm, this clearly wasn't the right way and it was a hassle to then turn around in the narrow road and find my way back to the correct location. This luckily doesn't happen to me often and I have been told that I just need to update the software so the maps are current and then I shouldn't get lost.

I do think that satnavs are amazing inventions and I wouldn't drive my car anywhere without it with me. However, it would be better if I didn't rely on it so much and actually paid attention to where I was going. I have a lot of friends who don't use satnavs and just follow signs and remember routes. I am going to try and do this more so that if my satnav did break or didn't get signal in time, I would be able to find my way home.
By planning the route on the satnav before you leave and also having a look at the route on AAroute planner it can help you concentrate on the roads better. Also by making the volume on the satnav louder and concentrating on the vocal directions rather than the visual ones, it should help you stay focussed on where you are going.

If you have any other tips/comments please leave a reply