How to use a satnav
Gone are the days of your passenger reading the map while you drive: today, your satnav is most likely your biggest navigation tool when it comes to travelling unknown routes. There’s so important to driving these days that they’ve even become part of the driving test - but are you using yours safely? These 7 tips will make sure you’re using your satnav in the right way that you can.
- Position it so you can see clearly
Make sure that your satnav isn’t blocking your view in any way. You should still have a clear view out of your windscreen, so make sure your satnav doesn’t affect your line of sight or create a blind spot for your driving.
- Turn up the volume
Make sure the volume is turned up so that you can hear the instructions clearly. If you listen to music while you’re driving, make sure you can still hear your satnav. Research shows that it is safer to rely on the instructions instead of looking at the on-screen map, so make sure you can hear them.
- Set it up before you leave
Make sure that you’re all set to go before you start driving, as using the satnav while driving is difficult – plus, it can present an unnecessary distract if you’re having to sort it while you’re moving.
- Check your route
Check your route before you leave. It’s easy to select the first place on the list, but just bear in mind that there are often more than one town with the same name – it’s better to realise this early, rather than after an hour of driving in the wrong direction!
- Pay attention to the road signs around you
Your satnav might not always pick up that a road is closed, or if a road isn’t a road after all. Satnavs can often think a farm track is a real road and attempt to take you down there. Remember, you’re the one in the driver seat, and you know best whether to listen to or ignore your satnav. It’s also important that you can react to road closures and diversions, even if your satnav doesn’t recognise them.
- Make sure your satnav is up to date
As new roads are built – and even new towns – your satnav will need updating. Most satnavs come with free lifetime updates, or at least free updates for the first few years. So remember to get it updated regularly to make sure it’s as accurate as possible.
- Put your satnav away
When you leave your car, security is key - whether you’re staying parked for a while or just nipping into the services. Satnavs are a prime target for thieves, so if it’s left in view, your car could be broken into. Make sure you put it away whenever you leave the car unattended, and try to wipe off the suction marks on the screen as these could encourage thieves as much as seeing the physical device.
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