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Drivers warned not to rely on satnav

Drivers warned not to rely on satnav

Over three quarters (78%) of drivers in England and Wales now use a satnav or smartphone to guide them on journeys.

In a survey by Opinium among 1,783 UK adults with a driving licence, nearly one in five (18%) admitted that they have driven dangerously -- for example, by driving the wrong way down a one-way street or needing to make a sharp U-turn to get back on track -- after receiving the wrong information from their device. Another 17% said their satnav has given them the wrong speed limit.

The survey also suggests that the reliance on in-car gadgets is creating a knowledge gap, with over half of drivers (56%) unable to identify the correct speed limit on single or dual carriageways.

Yet the majority of drivers (58%) fail to keep their devices up to date -- which means they are missing the latest road layouts as well as any speed limit changes.

With speeding fines for the most serious offences due to increase by up to 50% from Monday (24 April), uSwitch said that it's time drivers to sharpen up on the laws of the road and keep their devices up to date.

Rod Jones, insurance expert at uSwitch, commented: "We are officially a nation of satnav junkies, but our addiction to technology is causing us to drive dangerously and risk large fines. While satnavs and smartphones are an incredibly useful tool for motorists, it is important to remember they are never a complete substitute for knowing the rules of the road.

"Tougher penalties have already been introduced around handheld device usage that could mean newer drivers losing their licence after a first offence and for all drivers the penalties have increased. And drivers will be hit even harder for speeding when the new, heavier, fines come into effect next week.

"It is important to remember not to handle your mobile phone or satnav while driving, no matter how tempting. If you need to change your route, having taken a wrong turn, find somewhere safe to park first."

Are you a satnav junkie? And do you rely on it to stick to the speed limit?


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Posted 21 April 2017 by Jodie Salter

Tags: England, Opinium, satnav, uSwitch, Wales

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