Sat navs are a staple in a large majority of cars in the UK. With some of the finicky in-car systems and the threat of a fine by using a phone, a dedicated sat nav device is appealing.
There is no law preventing a driver using a sat nav while driving but there are some rules that motorists that need to abide by to ensure they remain legal.
Sat navs must be mounted to a holder or a windscreen mount to ensure they remain on the right side of the law.
Poor positioning of sat nav devices on windscreens poses a significant threat to road safety, says breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist.
Today’s devices are larger than ever before and if they are placed in the middle of the car windscreen then they could be significantly reducing driver visibility, warns the motoring group.
If they obscure your field of view then they could be putting you or other road users at considerable risk.
The Highway Code states that ‘windscreens and windows must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision’.
GEM road safety officer Neil Worth comments: “If you have received a satnav for Christmas, then do take a few moments to choose the only safe and legal part of your windscreen to fix it – which is in the bottom right hand corner of your windscreen.
“A typical large screen sat nav device measuring nearly seven inches (17cm) wide by four inches (10.48cm) high has the potential to restrict a driver’s field of view, especially if it’s mounted in the centre of the windscreen below a large rear view mirror.
“A small screen device may seem to be only a minor obstruction from inside the car. However, it has the potential to hide a much larger area outside the car, depending on where you sit and the distance you are from it.
“Placing a satnav right in the centre of the windscreen will block most of your nearside view, and will mean you miss all the hazards that might be there.
“This is particularly dangerous on left hand bends, at junctions and crossings, and in any locations where you may share the road space with cyclists and pedestrians.”
Here are some top tips to ensure that you fix your sat nav correctly, safely and securely.
- Ensure you position your device in the bottom right corner of your windscreen, where any obstruction to your field of view will be minimised.
- Make sure you choose the right seat height and position to suit your individual shape and size before positioning your satnav.
- Avoid fitting the satnav to a location that could cause injury to a driver or passenger in a crash. This includes potential head strike zones on the windscreen.
- Never fit the satnav high up on the windscreen. As well as severely restricting vision, this could interfere with the rear view mirror and sun visors, and will require power cords to trail across the driver’s field of vision.
You can get 6 penalty points and a £200 fine if you use a hand-held phone when driving.
You’ll also lose your licence if you passed your driving test in the last 2 years.
You can get 3 penalty points if you don’t have a full view of the road and traffic ahead or proper control of the vehicle.
These rules can also apply for using a sat nav device. You could also be penalised for distracted or careless driving.
Daily Express :: Cars Feed