Satellite navigation systems have revolutionised the road for many drivers. You no longer need to make sure that a big, heavy, complete road map of the UK is in the car before you set off, or spend hours poring over the best route to your destination. Sat Navs are easy, straightforward and offer a comprehensive overview of the road for you. They are easy to use, they calculate quickly and accurately the best route for you to follow, they warn you about traffic hot spots and offer alternative routes for your journey. There’s no doubt that Sat Navs have become a must-have amongst most drivers. However, as with all things to do with driving, there are a series of guidelines to follow to ensure that you stay safe while you use your Sat Nav:
- Keep it out of the way. As a driver you are responsible for keeping your windscreen clean and clear from obstructions, especially if you are using a portable plug in Sat Nav . Whilst you will need to have your Sat Nav within glancing distance, you shouldn’t have to look away or down to see the onscreen guide. Most of them are small and unobtrusive so it should be easy to find a suitable, safe space for it to sit.
- Trust your eyes as well as your Sat Nav. It may be a clever little device, but people have driven into rivers and down railway lines because their sat nav told them to, so if the road doesn’t look right, don’t take it and if there is a diversion, follow it.
- Don’t be dangerous. You should only programme your Sat Nav whilst you are completely stationary. Adjusting it while you are driving is not only illegal but potentially very dangerous for you and other road users. If you caused a road traffic accident as a result of adjusting your Sat Nav then you could be prosecuted for driving without due care and attention or dangerous driving. Penalties for these offences include large fines, points on your licence and a period of disqualification from driving.
- Double check your route. There are many villages and towns with identical names scattered across the UK and they can be many hundreds of miles apart. Sat Navs are usually highly accurate, but not always. It’s a good idea to double check your intended route – especially if timing is important.
- Keep it safe. Car thieves will target any car where there’s something on display or something to suggest valuables are hidden in the car. Don’t leave any sign that you have a Sat Nav on the windscreen or in the car and always take the device with you when you get out or lock it away in the car.
- Always update it. Road layouts change and new roads are added every year. Update your Sat Nav regularly for the most recent mapping to have the quickest, most straightforward route to your destination.
Sat Navs are great for making our journeys easier. Follow our top tips to help you reach your end destination safely.
For more new driver tips, keep an eye on our blog or find out more about Go Girl’s new driver insurance.