Misleading directions from satellite navigation devices resulted in £203 million worth of damage in the past year, according to a report by insurance broker Confused.com.
Out of 2,000 of British drivers questioned for the report, 83% admitted to being misled by their in-car satnav device, with 68% ending up spending more time behind the wheel as a result.
Gareth Kloet, head of car insurance at Confused.com, said: “Our research has shown that the satnav is not always the blessing it was once hailed to be and, increasingly, motorists appear to be citing the device as a source of frustration and danger.”
According to Transport Minister Norman Baker: “When used sensibly, satnavs can be useful in helping drivers to plan their journey and navigate. However, all too often out-of-date directions mean misdirected traffic — a scourge of local communities and an annoyance for drivers.”
The government is holding a summit in March to discuss ways in which satnav manufacturers can make their mapping data as accurate as possible, and update it more quickly to reflect road changes.
Later this year, local councils will also gain the ability to specify how their roads appear on maps, which will presumably mean they can mark certain routes as being unsuitable for certain types of vehicles.
Confused.com is also asking drivers to submit their own ‘satnav black spots’ online and the results so far can be browsed on a map.
Quite how the problem of accidents caused by dodgy satnav directions with be dealt with by insurers who offer reduced premiums to drivers who volunteer to use satnav monitoring devices remains to be seen…