Business drivers using satellite navigation should keep a map for backup, reckons Britain’s Institute of Advanced Motorists, and use commonsense rather than relying on the seductive siren in the little black box.
Many people in rural areas, the IAM says, will have seen or heard of truckers getting stuck in a narrow lane after blindly following her cheerful instructions. A recent survey (motoring.co.uk) said 20 percent of women and 30 percent of men had blindly followed a satnav into the middle of a field and Britain’s rail network has had to repair bridges and level crossings as a result of drivers’ failure to use common sense. Lots of drivers have also blindly followed their satnav into a field.
Peter Rodger, the IAM’s chief examiner believes that Satnavs can be a real aid to road safety, providing the driver already has an idea of the route. A satnav should assist your own navigational ability, not replace it!
Advice provided includes:
• A satnav should be programmed before setting off; listen to the advice rather than taking eyes of the road to glance at the screen.
• It might be worthwhile to take a map as back-up.
• Certain routes may be closed for whatever reason – another reason to carry a regular map.
• Drivers should also think about the position of the unit – it shouldn’t obstruct vision or be in a crash bag’s inflation path.
• Weight and height restrictions apply to some routes – be careful what you are driving, especially if it’s big and articulated. You might have to reverse!
• Remove the unit before leaving the vehicle and make sure any suction mounting marks are removed from the windscreen – they encourage thieves.
• Also (clever one, this!) DON’T programme in your home address; thieves have been known to use such to commit further offences.
[Information appeared on www.motoring.co.za ]