Drivers befuddled by satnav

More than one in 50 drivers claims to have crashed because of a satellite navigation system, according to a survey of 2,000 motorists carried out by insurers Direct Line for the Daily Mirror newspaper.

With 14 million UK drivers using satnav, up to 300,000 crashes may be attributable to the electronic maps.

Using the same extrapolation, the Mirror claims that around 1.5 million drivers have suddenly veered dangerously or illegally in busy traffic while following a satnav's directions and five million have been sent the wrong way down a one-way street.

One in ten drivers with a satnav says following its instructions made them take a dangerous or illegal turn.

One in five blame the gadget for making them hesitate on a busy road and lose track of road traffic.

Maggie Game of insurance giant Direct Line, which carried out the survey for the Mirror, warned: "If a satnav gives you an instruction that is likely to endanger other road users, ignore it.

"Motorists must realise that while they are a helpful navigation tool, they should not follow their instructions to the detriment of road safety."

Safety tips for using satnav include ensuring that you trust your common sense, use up-to-date maps, load the journey before you set off, and put the satnav where it won't obscure your view of the road.

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