How you position your sat-nav on the windscreen can have a significant impact in visibility, research shows. A sat-nav may seem like a minor obstruction, but it has the potential to be dangerous depending on where you sit and the distance you are from it.
A warning has been sent out to motorists who position satellite navigation systems poorly on their windscreen, suggesting it could potentially reduce visibility increasing the chances of an accident.
The recommendation comes from breakdown organisation GEM Motoring Assist, which said that positioning a sat-nav incorrectly may have a significant impact on visibility, particularly on left-hand bends and junctions.
GEM chief executive Neil Worth comments: “Sat nav devices are great for reducing a lot of motoring stress and showing you the way on unfamiliar journeys. But if in the process you’re obscuring a large part of your field of view, then you are taking a risk as well as breaking the law.
“A typical large screen satnav device measuring nearly seven inches (17cm) wide by four inches (10.48cm) high has the potential to cause significant restrictions to a driver’s field of view, especially if it’s mounted in the centre of the windscreen below a large rear-view mirror.
“A small screen device may seem to be only a minor obstruction from inside the car. However, it has the potential to hide a much larger area outside the car, depending on where you sit and the distance you are from it.
Current guidelines from the Department for Transport recommend that nothing should intrude more than 1cm into a 29cm-wide strip on the windscreen directly in front of the driver, or more than 4cm into the rest of the area swept by the windscreen wipers.
The advice from GEM is to ensure the satellite navigation systems won’t affect your view of the road ahead. Make sure the system is low down on the windscreen and to the far right to minimise obstruction. Also, it’s important to keep the unit away from any areas that might cause injury during an accident, that includes any areas where airbags will activate.
The best course of action for motorists is to check the current guidelines and ensure you are adhering to them when positioning a sat-nav.