Sat-nav inducing risky moves in 15% of drivers
07 January 2015
Author: Daniel Puddicombe
One in seven drivers who use a sat-nav have admitted to making illegal or risky maneuvres to correct mistakes when following instructions.
That's according to road safety charity Brake's latest research, which also found 7% of drivers have had a near-miss, brake or swerve to avoid a hazard after being distracted by their sat-nav. Brake said this figure rises to 11% in the 17-24 age bracket.
The survey also discovered a further 7% of motorists have had a similar close call because they were fiddling with their stereo. Again, this figure rises to 11% in the 17-24 age group.
The road safety charity is calling on drivers to stay alert and keep their eyes on the road by programming the sat-nav before setting off on a journey and not activating it while driving.
Brake is also calling for motorists not to use a mobile phone or "do anything else while driving", citing research suggesting drivers who perform a secondary action while behind the wheel are two to three times more likely to crash than those who aren't.
The organisation said it is appealing to the Government to regulate the use of features that can pose a danger to drivers, while calling for motorists not to be distracted by "new technologies being fitted to cars that have nothing to do with driving, such as social media."
"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," said Julie Townsend, chief executive, Brake. "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," she added.