Sat-Nav 300,000 accidents a year

  Seth Haniel 15:41 22 Jul 2008

Satellite navigation systems are being blamed for 300,000 road accidents each year, according to research by DirectLine for the Daily Mirror.

The research found that over half of drivers now use satellite navigation devices which are causing increasing problems on the road.

Over 1.5 million drivers said that they had driven badly because they were consulting the devices, either by veering across lanes or making illegal manoeuvres.

"If a sat-nav gives you an instruction that is likely to endanger other road users, ignore it," said Maggie Game of Direct Line.

"Motorists must realise that, while they are a helpful navigation tool, they should not follow their instructions to the detriment of road safety."

One in 10 drivers said that the systems had caused them to make an illegal turn, double that number had lost track of traffic because they were distracted and one in four had been sent the wrong way down a one-way street.

Psychology professor Cary Cooper of Lancaster University said: "Some people are easily persuadable and will follow instructions, whether it is their wife or a computer telling them where to go.

"Even when information is being fed back to them, such as road signs that suggest they're on the wrong route, they won't believe it. They only admit mistakes when they're being winched out of a gully."

  donki 15:53 22 Jul 2008

Hhhmmmmmmm I wonder how many were caused by drivers reading maps??

  interzone55 15:56 22 Jul 2008

I have a sat-nav, but it's only used for long journeys, and I also get a printout of the route from the BBC's excellent route planner site
click here

I can't comment about other sat-nav models, but my Navman F20 gives fair warning of lane changes, giving plenty of time to change lane on highways, or indicate on local roads.

I have to say that from being in cars other people they seem to rely entirely on the sat-nav to direct them home, even when the directions are clearly wrong.
Along with automatic transmission, automatic lights and automatic wipers, the sat-nav has removed any requirement for drivers to think whilst in the car, leaving them free to concentrate on their phone calls...

  johndrew 16:04 22 Jul 2008

Satellite navigation systems are a bit like mobile `phones - they interrupt your concentration with messages (a bit like some passengers!!) and need physical attention - both viewing and contact - often whilst driving. But maps are quite silent and only need attention when being read; this should be done in a stationary vehicle as it is much easier and safer.

Perhaps there is a case for placing sat. nav. systems into the same category as mobile `phones if they are going to put insurance premiums up for those of us that don`t use them???

  donki 16:15 22 Jul 2008

What should be done and what is done are entirely different, ive seen people looking at maps on motorways going at quite a speed.

People have accidents on roads for many different reason's, you can't police them all. All you can just hope people drive with due care and attention.

  VNAM75 16:17 22 Jul 2008

alan14, didn't know the BBC site had a route planner. Its very good.

  Clapton is God 16:20 22 Jul 2008

I have never used satnav and have no intention of doing so.

I always use a road map, pre-planning my route before leaving home if it's a long or unfamiliar journey.

IMHO there are only two words to describe those who unthinkingly rely on satnav - brain and dead.

  oresome 16:23 22 Jul 2008

200,000 seems a large number. Is it for accidents world-wide?

Information I've seen indicates there are approx 250,000 road accidents in total in the UK each year and I'm sure we can't blame sat-navs for most of them. I doubt that the figure has changed much since the introduction of sat-navs.

  Seth Haniel 16:25 22 Jul 2008
  dagbladet 16:39 22 Jul 2008

"I have never used satnav and have no intention of doing so."

I remember saying that about computers 10 years ago.

  namtas 16:42 22 Jul 2008

johndrew You need to know where you ar going and a map is usefull for that. I would argue the exact opposite to you, unless you are gifted with a very keen memory maps are useless as a active device, which is why I have seen drivers scanning maps whist driving. How can Satellite navigation systems divert attention, the driver is concentrating on the road ahead and a voice is giving out directions ahead of time, what could be more simpler than that, their should be no need to look at the device. I believe Satnavs make travel safer.

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