Mobile communications and GPS systems used as Sat-navs are becoming very common in cars. Whether you are connecting your Bluetooth to blast tunes or looking for the nearest Waitrose, these have become a fundamental part of the daily drive for many of us.
Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, gives advice on using technology to complement your driving.
- Whilst a Sat-nav can aid in getting you from A to B, try to not become reliant on it. It is important to pay attention to road signs and the road ahead, in case there’s a diversion sign that the device may not have picked up
Get to know your Sat-nav before you set off and always programme it when stationary. Many people trust their Sat-navs not to get them lost - but you also need to know about roadworks, diversions and places to stop. Keep an old fashioned map to ensure that you limit the chances of going completely off track!
- Create your playlist before you start your journey. Taking your eyes of the wheel to look or adjust your music can often prove to be hazardous. It only takes a few seconds distraction to cause an accident. Remember to also keep your music down in some circumstances; your hearing can keep you safe, so be prepared to turn the music off
- Don’t make or take calls when driving and never text or engage with social media on your smartphone. Through extensive research it has been shown that making calls, even hands-free, affects concentration and slows reactions when driving
- Some vehicles have the ability to create a Wi-Fi zone allowing internet access. This should be used as a luxury for passengers whilst ensuring they do not distract you as the driver. For instance, a computer screen reflecting in the dark is a dangerous distraction
Richard said: “The latest driver assistance systems can be the perfect back-up to cover our occasional human failings but are no substitutes for concentration. The driver must always remain connected to what is going on around them. Multi-tasking is a myth and all too often that glance away can become a complete switch-off to an emerging risk. No text, tweet, check in or status update is worth crashing for.”