One in seven risking lives to correct sat nav mistakes
More than one in seven (15%) drivers who use a sat nav admit making illegal or risky manoeuvres to correct mistakes when following sat nav instructions, putting themselves and other road users at risk of a devastating crash.
That’s according to a survey by road safety charity Brake and Direct Line which also found that:
one in 14 (7%) drivers have had a near miss, having to swerve or brake suddenly to avoid a hazard, because they were distracted by a sat nav (rising to one in 10 (11%) among young drivers (17-24);
One in 14 (7%) drivers also admit to having a similar near miss because they were fiddling with their stereo (rising to one in 10 (11%) among young drivers (17-24))
Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: ‘Sat navs have revolutionised the way many of us drive, helping us get from A to B without worrying about navigation, and there are indications they can make you safer. However, there are potential pitfalls to be wary of that can pose a real danger to yourself and other road users. Remember, the sat nav is there to help you keep focused on driving rather than worry about directions, but it’s not there to make all the decisions for you. Driving is an unpredictable activity, so you still need to look at signs, particularly those warning of hazards or speed limits, and watch for people and unexpected problems.
Through its drive smart campaign, Brake is also calling on all drivers to make a new year’s resolution to stay alert and keep their mind and eyes on the road. That means programming your sat nav before you set off, and not attempting to re-programme it, fiddle with your stereo, use a mobile, or do anything else while driving.
Brake is also calling on drivers not to be distracted by the range of technologies being installed in many new cars that have nothing to do with driving, such as access to social media.
And the organisation is also appealing to the government to regulate the use of features that can pose a dangerous distraction to drivers.