Many drivers claim a satnav is the best device they’ve ever had in their car, but satnavs can be a distraction too and often take drivers places they didn’t want to go.
Understand the limitations of a sat nav system so that you can get the best out of it without getting into trouble. It’s a good idea to carry a road atlas for back-up, too.
Satnav advice – 10 tips
1. You're driving, not the satnav
You can't blame the satnav if you commit an offence or have an accident – it's your fault.
2. Trust your eyes not the satnav
People have been marooned in fords, driven into rivers and down railways because their satnav told them to.
If the road looks wrong, don't take it.
3. You know what you're driving, the satnav probably doesn't
If you have a large vehicle or a caravan, you can't be sure that a road is suitable just because the satnav tells you to go down it.
Watch for signs, particularly height, weight or width restrictions.
4. Watch the road not the satnav
A satnav can give all sorts of information about where you are going, much of which you don't need.
5. Don't block your view of the road
The satnav should be in your line of sight.
You don't want to have to look down or turn your head a long way, but it shouldn’t block your view of the road.
Put it where it won't injure anyone in an accident.
6. Don't try to programme the satnav while driving
Programming on the move will take one hand from the wheel, two eyes from the road and your brain from driving.
Always pull over before adjusting settings.
7. Use all of the features
On a complicated, busy roundabout, it’s unwise to take your eyes off the road to look at the satnav, and much better to receive spoken instructions.
8. Check the route is practical before you go
Is the sat nav taking you to the right Farnborough? Hampshire, Warwickshire or Kent?
Does the route look right?
9. Update the sat nav regularly
It needs to know about new roads, new traffic systems and generally keep itself up to date.
10. Thieves like sat navs too
If it's detachable, always take it out when you leave the car.
Mounts or suction cap marks also attract thieves as they know that drivers who remove the satnav from the window tend to leave it in the car.
16 February 2017