Sat navs could present danger to drivers


ROAD safety chiefs last night issued a weather warning to drivers – over sat navs.

The AA say it is too dangerous for motorists to trust the equipment not to lead them into ice or snow which is predicted to hit with a vengeances.

Andrew Howard, Head of Road Safety for the AA, said: “Do not necessarily trust your sat nav.”

“What is a perfectly sensible route in the summer could be unsuitable in winter.

“A sat nav might take you over hilly or particularly icy roads, it will not necessarily take you the best route.”

Mr Howard said he knows from personal experience that sat navs sometimes provide bizarre or over-complicated routes.

He said: “When people come to visit me I tell them to get to the town first then put in the postcode, if they put in the postcode straight away it will take them along some very narrow roads and that is not the best way to come.”

He added: “There are generally three parts to any journey, the middle section tends to be on a big or major road which is well maintained and gritted. It is the other ends of the journey that people should be more concerned with.”

“A sat nav does not know the weather conditions”.

A spokesperson for the sat nav company, Garmin, admitted that the devices are not fail safe.

He said: “I would never advise anyone to follow a sat nav 100%.”

However, Garmin said he disagreed with Mr Howards’s point about the sat navs and weather forecasts.

The company are due to release a new model that will include a detailed five day weather forecast that will help the driver decide their route.

A spokesperson said: “The 1695 model shows forecasts similar to on the TV and is colour coded to show what type of weather is expected.

“You can put in your destination and find out what the weather is doing there before you set off.”

He added: “It’s in response to drivers wanting more and more detailed information from their sat nav so that they can decide whether to make the trip and what route to take.”

Weather experts have said that this weekend will be the first true wintery blast of the season in Scotland which will stay into next week.

Weather forecaster at the Met Office, John Hammond said:  “This weekend I think there’s going to be some particularly wintery weather.

“There is already snow on the mountains but it’s going to become more extensive over the next few days which will present difficulties for the high roads, the A9 in particular.”

“This is certainly the first taste of winter.”