Satnavs endangering road users


One in seven UK road users has put themselves or others in danger trying to correct a satnav mistake.

According to a survey by Brake and Direct Line, more than 15 per cent of motorists have performed illegal or risky manoeuvres after missing a satnav instruction.

Seven per cent of motorists have admitted to a near miss because they were distracted by satnavs and forced to swerve or brake suddenly.

That figure rises to 11 per cent among motorists aged 17-24.

The research has inspired a new safety campaign urging motorists to stay alert and concentrate on the road ahead.

And it’s not just limited to satnavs with Brake and Direct Line also urging motorists to stay off their mobile phones and keep their eyes on the road.

Their research also shows that motorists are two to three times more likely to crash when carrying out a secondary activity, with chances rising steeply again when performing complex secondary actions like texting.

Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said: “Satnavs 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 satnav 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.”

Satnavs are complicated for motorbike riders and in some cases can invalidate insurance policies as they are seen as an after market addition that can increase risk.

Usually however satnavs will be listed as an acceptable after market modification to your motorbike however it is always best to inform your insurer, regardless of how minor your modification.

Next page: What to do if you’re involved in a road accident