There are now many people who own a satellite navigation system and more and more cars feature them as a standard fixture. In this article we look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of Satellite Navigation (Sat Nav) systems.
The obvious advantage of Sat Nav systems is that they will guide you to your destination without the need to consult a map or memorise some complicated instructions. You can just plug in a postcode and away you go. Should you make a mistake and end up off course, the system will automatically adjust your route to get you back on track.
Most models will also warn you of approaching speed cameras, which can be a helpful reminder to watch your speed, although they won’t pick up mobile camera units. Many are pre-programmed with maps of all of Europe and if you are travelling even further, you can download maps and instructions for many other countries outside Europe. Recently, satellite navigation systems have become much more affordable; you can see the price range at various websites online.
Sat Nav systems aren’t fool proof and they don’t know every short cut, plus, they will need to be updated from time to time to incorporate new road information. Research has shown that navigation systems can cause drivers to pay less attention to road signs, which can be dangerous. Also, they don’t know what vehicle your are driving, you could be in a van or a mini, or you could be towing a trailer, so they don’t always choose the ideal route for you. It’s a good idea to check the route that the system will suggest before you leave the house, just to make sure that it is suitable for you.
Sat Nav systems can be every bit of a distraction as mobile phones, so make sure that the route is programmed and set before you set off and try to listen to the instructions rather than look at the on-screen map as you go along. Additionally, the presence of a satellite navigation system in your vehicle may tempt car thieves, so never leave them on display and if you can, unclip the main unit and take it with you.
If you are unsure whether a satellite navigation system is for you, or which of the many models is best suited to you, then it is well worth seeking advice from an expert supplier before you buy.