‘Thoughtless’ positioning of sat nav devices is leading to a ‘potentially lethal reduction in driver visibility’, according to GEM Motoring Assist.
The breakdown organisation says that when positioned in the middle of a car windscreen, today’s large screen devices impair visibility, especially on left hand bends and at junctions.
David Williams MBE, GEM chief executive, says drivers are taking “a huge risk” by obscuring their view.
To address the issue, GEM has published a series of tips advising drivers how to safely position a sat nav.
It says that the safest place is low down on the windscreen, and to the far right – but if it has to be in the centre of the windscreen, it should be positioned as low down as possible.
GEM also says drivers should avoid locations where a sat nav could cause injury to a driver or passenger in the event of a crash – including potential head strike zones on the windscreen, and locations where the device may come in contact with an airbag.
David Williams MBE said: “Sat nav devices are great for relieving a lot of motoring stress. But if in the process you’re obscuring a vast swathe of your field of view, then you are taking a huge risk.
“A typical large screen sat nav device measuring nearly seven inches (17cm) wide by four inches (10.48cm) high has the potential to cause significant restrictions to a driver’s field of view, especially if it’s mounted in the centre of the windscreen below a large rear view mirror.
“A small screen device may seem to be only a minor obstruction from inside the car. However, it has the potential to hide a much larger area outside the car, depending on where you sit and the distance you are from it.
“Placing a sat nav right in the centre of the windscreen will block most of your nearside view, and will mean you miss all the hazards that might be there. This is particularly dangerous on left hand bends, at junctions and crossings, and in any locations where you may share the road space with cyclists and pedestrians.”