You’ll be lost with­out these sat nav tips

Middleton Guardian - - MIDDLETON PEOPLE -

SATEL­LITE nav­i­ga­tion sys­tems (sat navs) are a must-have these days but many road users fail to use this travel com­pan­ion in the cor­rect or safe man­ner.

In a re­cent sim­u­la­tor study look­ing at a va­ri­ety of dis­trac­tions, pro­gram­ming a sat nav had the big­gest neg­a­tive im­pact on driv­ing stan­dards.

This week’s tips from IAM Road­S­mart’s head of driv­ing and rid­ing stan­dards, Richard Glad­man, give ad­vice on rid­ing and driv­ing with a sat nav.

Pro­gramme your jour­ney be­fore you set off.

Look­ing at your sat nav sys­tem to make changes to your des­ti­na­tion is a dis­trac­tion and may prove to be dan­ger­ous.

If you need to make an alteration find an ap­pro­pri­ate place to stop. Get to know your sat nav sys­tem.

Be­ing able to mute or ac­ti­vate voice com­mands with­out hav­ing to look at the sys­tem will be use­ful.

Fea­tures such as live traf­fic up­dates and road works warn­ings will help in plan­ning your ar­rival time.

A state-of-the-art sys­tem will of­fer route changes where time sav­ings are pos­si­ble.

If you are buy­ing a stand-alone unit or pick­ing up your new car with a built in sat nav ask for a demon­stra­tion of the fea­tures.

It can be frus­trat­ing try­ing to ‘ed­u­cate’ a dif­fer­ent sys­tem to your way of work­ing.

If you are us­ing your phone as a nav­i­ga­tion de­vice make sure it is se­curely mounted and pro­grammed prior to de­par­ture.

Be­ing a mo­bile, no­ti­fi­ca­tions, mes­sage alerts and calls can pop up. Do not be tempted to re­spond or touch it as you may fall foul of mo­bile phone leg­is­la­tion. Don’t at­tract thieves. Re­mem­ber to take off your sat nav and pop it in the glove com­part­ment and wipe down the win­dow so there is no tell-tale ring marks point­ing a thief in the di­rec­tion of your car.

Richard said: “Satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion can be a fan­tas­tic tool if you use it to help you plan and con­duct your jour­ney.

“A tale of cau­tion though it is al­ways a good idea to have an idea where you are go­ing.

“Don’t be scared to have a glance on the map.

“If I were go­ing to St Ives I could po­ten­tially be guided 350 miles out of my way if I re­lied to­tally on the nav­i­ga­tion unit.

“Best to know whether the A14 or the A30 forms part of my route.”

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