Use your sat nav correctly and you’ll save hours of wasted time

A recent report in the Star stated that the average motorist wastes 29 hours a year on misdirections when using their sat nav.

It is quite common for people who do not have a sat nav to claim they take big vehicles down narrow roads!

I have to say that having spent many years on the road in my last career I was periodically asked the way by persons using a map book but never by someone using a sat nav, so I suspect sat nav users get lost much less than map users.

Here are some tips for good sat nav use:

  • Use the right sat nav. An ordinary one for cars and a truck nav for lorries and big vehicles. The sat nav does not know the size of your vehicle but a truck nav will not take you down narrow roads or under low bridges.

  • Make sure the sat nav is set to “shortest” or “quickest” route, as required. The “shortest” will take you along the back streets and narrow lanes if shorter because you have set it to the “shortest” route. The “quickest” route will take you along main roads and the fastest way and this is the best setting to use in almost every case.

  • When it has come up with a route, check it is to the place you wish to go! If you have hit a wrong key in putting in your destination find out before you start to drive.

  • When the sat nav has worked out the route it will usually show you the route from start to finish. Look at what it is showing you – is it the way you want to go – if not, now is the time to change it to a different way. Make sure you have set it to use/avoid motorways or toll roads, as required.

  • Read the instructions (often online these days) or ask the maker for a printed manual (I got one from Tom Tom) and you will be amazed what you can get from it. They are first class devices which will serve drivers well if properly used.

A little common sense and knowledge on how to use the device will ensure you get the best from it and do not waste 29 hours a year going the wrong way.

Richard Camp, Wellington

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