In-car satellite navigation systems could be causing more trouble than they are worth, according to a new survey of 2,000 drivers by Privilege Insurance.
More than one in 10 drivers have programmed their navigation computers while driving, and over half of those drivers admitted to taking their eyes off the road while doing so. This would qualify them for a £1,000 fine if caught.
Seventy-five per cent of drivers manipulating any form of navigational equipment while driving spend up to 10 seconds doing so.
At 60mph this means that the drivers will travel twice the length of a football pitch without their full concentration on the road.
"Our research shows that satellite navigation equipment, if used incorrectly, can lead to driver danger," said Ian Parker, managing director of Privilege Insurance.
"Drivers should take a break every two hours anyway and could use this time to check their location and the next section of the journey.
"Perhaps safest of all would be for drivers on an unknown route to take a passenger with them and allow them to navigate."
Drivers from East Anglia were most likely to try programming satellite navigation systems while driving, and those in the North East took their eyes off the road most often.
The research also highlighted that maps are safer than satellite navigation. Almost one in five of drivers using the controls of their satellite navigation while driving lost concentration, compared to 17 per cent of those who read a map while behind the wheel.
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