Home PageFacebookRSS News Feed
Read the current newsletter! Weekly
MacFixer, the iPhone, iPod, and iPad specialists
Younger Drivers Lost Without Satnav

Article by: Darren Griffin
Date: 19 Apr 2019

A study carried out by University College London suggests that using a sat nav "switches off" the parts of our brain that are responsible for memory and navigation and makes navigating using only road signs and traditional maps more difficult. This means you are far less likely to be able to remember a route without relying on technology.

Unsurprisingly few young people would feel confident relying on road signs and a paper map to navigate. In fairness that was a skill that few even of those of us old enough to remember driving pre-satnav could say we truly excelled at.

However it does seem that there is a big difference between being guided by a map and road signs and relying entirely on a satnav. We don't appear to make mental notes of landmarks and other visual references in the way we used to, a sort of mental breadcrumb trail.

Whether this will turn out to be a serious issue in time remains to be seen. There are occasional reports of people heading off into mountain ranges wholly unprepared and with only a smartphone to guide them but in reality a satnav has allowed many to venture further with confidence and it has to be safer that trying to glance at a paper map on the passenger seat or the inevitable row with your nearest and dearest/navigator!

Source: verdict.co.uk

email icon
Posted by PeteMelbourne on Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:56 am Reply with quote

I am less good at navigating without a GPS than I used to be; 20 years ago I could go somewhere once and would happily find my way back there even years later.

Now if I am not driving the first time or if it is more than a couple of weeks I have no chance

Posted by spacerunner on Fri Apr 19, 2019 11:17 am Reply with quote

Totally impossible in France as after ten years they’re still trying to change road numbers. Maps are still trying, but failing miserably, to catch up with any changes that have been made.
Main road intersections are so complicated you’d need a native tracker to guide you.

Posted by domlaptop on Fri Apr 19, 2019 12:11 pm Reply with quote

I remember that, years ago, I used to keep an eye on the sun to help me navigate. It worked a treat over long distances when having to avoid traffic. Now though, there's so much traffic that I can't avoid it. So much of it that having a sat nav is crucial for those long trips.
Sometimes, what we lose through the use of a new technology is outweighed by the gains it brings. I hope that, in the long run, this proves to be true for sat navs.

Posted by marksfish on Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:59 pm Reply with quote

When I moved to Leeds and drove buses, I learned routes quicker than the natives who had lived there all their lives, but paid no attention to their surroundings. It helped me no end navigating the city in my social life too, just relying on memory and the odd road sign.

My Son on the other hand went to a local town the other night, forgot how he got there and had to ring his mum to "rescue" him as he was lost, only 6 miles away!!!

It's only going to get worse as well, now that the driving test requires the use of a satnav. There are more important things to concentrate on when learning to drive, in my opinion.

I despair Crying or Very sad

Garmin Drivesmart 51 LMT-D Europe

Posted by Kremmen on Fri Apr 19, 2019 4:05 pm Reply with quote

Many minicab drivers from far off lands come here and ferry you about via SatNav, no local knowledge at all.

Garmin DS61 LMT-D (In the car)
Garmin 2599 LMT-D (Indoor test rig)
Viofo A119 V3

Reply to topic

CamerAlert Apps

iOS QR Code

Android QR Code

© Terms & Privacy

GPS Shopping