Safety Charity: Sat-Nav Makes Drivers Swerve And Brake Suddenly
Survey Shows Satellite Navigation Distracts Drivers
Distracting satellite navigation equipment caused thousands of motorists to swerve or brake suddenly to avoid a collision within the last year, a road safety charity survey shows.
The survey was conducted by Brake – one of the country's leading road safety charities - and Direct Line, a motor insurance specialist. It shows that 11% of 18 to 24-year-old drivers had a “near miss” in the last 12 months while distracted by sat-nav.
The percentage fell with age: 7% (aged 25 – 34), 5% (35 – 44), 5% (45 – 54) and 2% (55 – 64). Motorists aged 65+ - according to the survey – proved immune to distraction (0%).
Brake says there is “some evidence” that relying on sat-nav makes motorists drive faster and less observant. Its conclusion is based on research at the Royal Holloway University which tested how people react to sat-nav style instructions while driving.
Julie Townsend, Deputy Chief Executive at Brake, said:“Sat-navs have revolutionised the way many of us drive, helping us get from A to B without worrying about navigation.
“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
“For many drivers there is an increasing array of technological temptations that can pose a deadly distraction. It’s essential to resist to ensure you and others arrive safely.”