Brake highlights sat-nav distraction risks

12.00 | 7 January 2015 | | 5 comments

15% of drivers who use a sat-nav make illegal or risky manoeuvres to correct mistakes when following sat-nav instructions, according to a survey by Brake.

7% of respondents to the survey of 1,000 drivers said they have had a ‘near miss’ because they were distracted by a sat-nav – rising to 11% among young respondents aged 17-24yrs.

Brake says that when used responsibly a voice-based sat-nav can be safer than a visual display or paper map – but also points to “evidence that relying on a sat-nav can make you drive faster and make you less observant”.

The road safety charity is calling on drivers not to be distracted by the technology being installed in many new cars, including access to social media. Brake is also appealing to the Government to regulate the use of technology that can distract drivers.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive of 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.

“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.

“For many drivers there is an increasing array of technological temptations that can pose a deadly distraction.

“Brake’s advice is: set your sat-nav and radio before you set off, put your phone in the boot and ensure you’re not tempted to do anything that will take your mind or eyes off the road while driving.”


Comment on this story

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Report a reader comment

Order by Latest first | Oldest first | Highest rated | Lowest rated

    1: That means that they are stupid – see 2.
    2: You can simply carry on and let the GPS re-route you quite safely.
    3: Even better, set the Avoid U-turns in the route preferences. It will then only ask for one if there is absolutely no other option.
    4: 15% of drivers have made risky manoeuvres – see 5
    5: Thus (re point 4) 85% haven’t

    Paul Anderson, Buckinghamshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    In addition to my previous comment you state that 15% of drivers using sat-navs take risks. More simply this means that 85% don’t.

    Paul, Buckingamshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    GPS satellite navigation devices are not the problem directly. It’s the drivers who create problems. Trying to read a map and drive is also extremely distracting.

    With a GPS there is no need whatsoever to make poor decisions and make dangerous U-turns. The GPS will automatically get you back on course. The best advice I have for anyone who is struggling is to go into the route planning configuration of their device and set AVOID U-TURNS. Very simple.

    Paul, Buckingamshire
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    The potential to take sat nav into the driving test contradicts the research, this article confirms the fact that young drivers struggle with multi tasking, with so many ‘text drivers’ out there the sat nav will just become another accessory to young driver fatality.

    A. Green Bedford
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

    “Driving is an unpredictable activity”?

    The very predictability of the driving task is what makes driving possible in the first place. We may make prediction failures as we drive along (the true cause of all accidents), but without the ability to predict what happens next then it would be impossible to negotiate a road system as complex as ours.

    A distraction is simply the interruption of the primary prediction process which is why they are so problematical.

    Duncan MacKillop. No surprise – No accident.
    Agree (0) | Disagree (0)

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.