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Are you putting your satnav in a dangerous position?

Where you put your satnav in the car may just be dangerous, according to breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist.

The report said those who plonk a satnav slap-bang in the middle of the dashboard are creating a ‘potentially lethal reduction in driver visibility’, which is most apparent on left hand bends and at junctions.

It noted that a device 17cm wide and 10.48cm tall would cause ‘significant restrictions’ to a driver’s view, which could make you miss a hazard such as a cyclist or pedestrian.

GEM chief executive David Williams said: “Sat nav devices are great for relieving a lot of motoring stress. But if in the process you’re obscuring a vast swathe of your field of view, then you are taking a huge risk.

“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.”

He added: “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.”

So where can you put a satnav to make it least likely to be dangerous and obscure your view? GEM advised on the right side of your dashboard and low down. Failing that, in the centre of the dash but as low down as possible.

It also said to avoid putting a satnav in a place where it could smack into the driver or passenger if a crash occurred and that fitting one high up on the windscreen is a big no-no.

Satnav location is worth bearing in mind, but following the directions blindly is as dangerous, if not more so. One driver ended up taking his family into a river because the instructions said to.

And, of course, let’s not forget that lady who drove through six countries before she realised she was heading the wrong way. Suddenly those old A to Z maps seem like a good idea, after all.



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