Alert Over Unsafe Use Of Sat-Nav

While satellite navigation system sales are booming according to the latest Mintel research, Privilege Insurance is warning that - when used incorrectly - in-car navigation equipment could be proving to be more of a hindrance than a help to the nation's drivers.

Over one in ten drivers (11 per cent) have used the controls on their satellite navigation while driving, instead of programming their route before hitting the road. What's more, over half of these (53 per cent) admit that doing so meant that their eyes were taken off the road, leading to driving danger.

Nearly one in eight (13 per cent) of drivers who use a satellite navigation device while driving confess to not spending any time planning a route they are unfamiliar with prior to setting off, relying heavily on the equipment to get them to their destination.

Ian Parker, Managing Director of Privilege Insurance, offered advice on how to stay safe with sat-nav: "Privilege urges drivers to spend a few minutes planning their route on a map or Internet route finder so they can concentrate on the road once they set off. Drivers en-route should take a break every two hours anyway and so can use this time to check their location and the next section of the journey. Perhaps safest of all would be for drivers on an unknown route to take a passenger with them and allow them to navigate."

Its not just misuse of satellite navigation systems that can be a danger to drivers, the Privilege Insurance research reveals. Almost one in four (22 per cent) drivers admitted to reading a map while driving in the last twelve months, with over a quarter of these (26 per cent) doing so at least once per month.

The majority of drivers using any form of navigational equipment while driving (75 per cent) spent up to 10 seconds doing so which, at 60mph, means the drivers would find themselves travelling twice the length of a football pitch* without their full concentration on the road.

Privilege specialises in offering highly competitive insurance for safe drivers, with a guarantee to beat renewal quotes for any driver with 4 years+ no claims discount.

20 April 2006 Staff

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