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The Danger Of Following Instructions

By raccars Published

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Most of us are brought up to carefully follow the mantra 'do as you're told.' However, it seems in some cases we are too obedient, as drivers are following instructions from their sat navs which could be leading them into danger.

The road safety charity, Brake, has conducted a survey which found that one driver in 14 has experienced a near miss as a result of satellite navigation devices distracting them. Furthermore, one in seven drivers has admitted making potentially dangerous or illegal manoeuvres, after incorrectly following instructions given by the sat nav.

The number of drivers who have nearly crashed after being distracted by sat nav is highest in the under 24 age group, at 11%, and lowest among the over 35s, at less than 5%.

Arguably, a sat nav is a safer method of finding directions while driving than wrestling with a map on the steering wheel, but research has suggested that drivers relying on the devices tend to drive faster and pay less attention to the road. Of the 1,000 drivers questioned as part of the survey, 7% also admitted to finding their car's in car stereo system a distraction, and 12% blamed passengers for taking their attention away from the road. Smartphones are a distraction for 3% of drivers, while food and drink cause 2% of drivers to lose focus on the road.

Brake is urging drivers to take the time to programme their sat nav before embarking upon their journey rather than while driving, and to avoid using any other gadgets while behind the wheel. The charity also reminds drivers that sat nav is there to assist them rather than do all the work, so it is important to still pay attention to the road and take note of speed limits and potential hazards around them.

A number of studies have been conducted on the effects of driver distraction, showing that it could be the cause of more than one in five accidents. Drivers attempting to multitask behind the wheel are two or three times more likely to be involved in an accident. The likelihood of a crash occurring increases along with the complexity of any secondary tasks.

An experiment conducted by Safety in Massachusetts, revealed that 98% of drivers displayed a deteriorated driving performance when asked to divide their attention - even though most did not believe this to be the case.

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