Do Sat Navs do more harm than good?

Thoughtless’ positioning of sat nav devices is leading to a ‘potentially lethal reduction in driver visibility’, according to the Guild of Experienced Motorists (GEM) Motoring Assist.

The breakdown service organisation says that when positioned in the middle of a car windscreen, today’s large screen devices impair visibility, especially on left hand bends and at junctions.

David Williams MBE, GEM chief executive, says drivers are taking “a huge risk” by obscuring their view. To address the issue, GEM has published a series of tips advising drivers how to position a sat nav safely. It says that the safest place is low down on the windscreen, and to the far right – but if it has to be in the centre of the windscreen, it should be positioned as low down as possible. GEM also says drivers should avoid locations where a sat nav could cause injury to a driver or passenger in the event of a crash – including potential head strike zones on the windscreen, and locations where the device may come in contact with an airbag.

“A small screen device may seem to be only a minor obstruction from inside the car. However, it has the potential to hide a much larger area outside the car, depending on where you sit and the distance you are from it. “Placing a sat nav right in the centre of the windscreen will block most of your nearside view, and will mean you miss all the hazards that might be there. This is particularly dangerous on left hand bends, at junctions and crossings, and in any locations where you may share the road space with cyclists and pedestrians.”

The Safer Essex Roads Partnership (SERP) also would like to make drivers aware that although Sat Navs are great for assisting with directions, they still can be distracting. Full attention should be on driving and not on following a Sat Nav.

In-car distractions also include car stereos, mobile phones, in-car controls and passengers.

For more information on road safety please visit our website – www.saferessexroads.org

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