Satellite navigation systems work by using satellites to track the position of the car. The satellites monitor a vehicle's heading, speed, and co-ordinates, which are then cross-referenced against an electronic map. They can then give the driver directions to a destination by comparing the vehicles heading and co-ordinates with the layout of the road network.
A Sat Nav well used can help drivers, preventing last minute lane changes or hesitating, however a badly used Sat Nav can cause a distraction and increase the risk of an accident
Tips on the safe use of Sat Navs
1. Plan your journey in advance (think about rest stops)
2. Find a method of using a sat nave that is not distracting to you
3. Position your sat nav safely, out of the way of airbags.
4. Make sure your sat nav isn’t blocking your vision
5. The Highway Code demands that your windscreen be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision. This means not sticking your sat nav directly in your line of sight. You don’t want to have to keep looking down or away from the road to glance at it though, so think carefully about where you put it.
6. Have a general Idea of the route and don't over rely on the sat nav. If the machine malfunctions a general idea of the route will avoid panic.
7. YOU MUST STILL Pay attention to road signs and the road ahead
8. Don’t blindly follow your sat nav’s instructions without taking heed of what you can see in front of you. If there’s a diversion sign, follow it. If the ‘road’ looks more like a private track over a field, avoid it.
9. Programme or adjust your sat nav while stationary. Trying to punch an address into your sat nav is distracting. Taking your eyes off the road for a few seconds could cause an accident. If you need to readjust your GPS device pull over to a safe place.
10. Have the volume set sensibly. Too quiet and you will be looking at the screen too much. You don’t want to have to keep glancing at your sat nav. Make sure you can hear your sat nav so you can listen to instructions while concentrating on the road. Too loud and you may be distracted.
11. Always make the same observations to keep you safe that you would without the Sat nav
12. Regularly update your maps to ensure that your sat nav is showing the latest road set ups
13. REMEMBER it’s not the sat nav driving the car, it’s you. This means that if you commit an offence or have an accident, it’s your fault - not the sat nav’s. A SAT NAV is a driver aid, not a replacement for common sense.
Finally: Sat navs are a popular target for thieves. Putting your sat nav in the boot and leaving the mount and/or suction cup marks on the window isn’t good enough. These clues are like waving to a robber. Don’t leave any visible trace of your sat nav in the car and take the actual device with you.