Most drivers don’t know they need to change satnav settings every few months

The car leasing company Nationwide Vehicle Contracts has warned drivers of a rise in the number of accidents due to outdated satnav systems.

According to a recent study, the number of vehicles driving the wrong way on a motorway during 2022 increased by 13 percent compared to 12 months earlier, with a significant amount of blame placed on satnav.

Keith Hawes, Director of Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, warned that younger drivers, in particular, could be at risk.

He explained: “Hearing that there’s been an increase in road accidents due to outdated satnavs is extremely worrying.

“This is particularly concerning as learner drivers now have to follow satnavs as part of their practical test, which could cause confusion, on top of an already stressful situation.”

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Whilst satnavs are generally seen as a way for drivers to get to their destination easily and quickly, relying on them can lead to problems.

Research published in 2020 found that 83 percent of drivers claimed that using a satnav resulted in them driving in the wrong direction to their destination.

The study also noted that some drivers feel that they use their satnav too often whilst driving, with 60 percent stating that they feel concerned that they’ll forget simple routes they often take.

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Keith added that drivers can avoid problems with their satnavs by making sure they are regularly up to date.

He added: “All road users should update their satnav every few months and always before a big trip or when heading to a location they have never been to before.

“So, if you’re planning a trip away any time soon, the time is now to check your current systems. If driving in city centres, it’s particularly important as there are regular road changes, closures, and updates.”

The company advised that many of the latest satnavs, including the ones that feature on smartphones, can connect to Wi-Fi or mobile data in order to regularly update.

However, older models may require their owners to plug the device into a laptop or PC to download and install new software.

Motorists are advised to look at the instruction manual for their type of satnav to find a tutorial on how updates should be made for it.

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