Why making this sat nav mistake could prove fatal or land you a huge fine

Many drivers nowadays rely on sat navs to get to their chosen destination with no hassle whatsoever.Â

Thursday, 10th January 2019, 9:23 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 12:51 pm
Sat nav problems (Photo illustration by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Sat nav problems (Photo illustration by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

However, if you've placed your sat nav in the wrong location then you could be at risk of a huge fine or even a fatal accident, according to experts.  

Safety experts have warned that if you have not positioned your device correctly then this will drastically increase the chances of being involved in a fatal accident. 

Sat nav problems (Photo illustration by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Road safety organisation GEM Motoring Assist have warned that positioning a large sat nav in the middle of a car windscreen can lead to a '˜potentially lethal reduction in driver visibility'. 

A sat nav placed in the middle of the windscreen, near the driver, could also increase the risk of you sustaining a head injury if you're involved in a crash. 

The road safety experts have advised drivers instead to ensure they position their sat nav so that it won't affect your view of the road and your ability to drive safely.

They added that the safest place for a sat nav is low down on your windscreen and to the far right to minimise obstruction of your field of view. 

While there is no law preventing a driver using a sat nav while driving, the Highway Code states that windscreens and windows '˜must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision'. 

If you're found guilty of having a sat nav that is obstructing your view then you could be looking at a maximum £1,000 fine and three points. 

And if your sat nav or phone is not fixed to a dashboard or windscreen then you could be facing at a £200 fine and up to six penalty points. 

GEM chief executive David Williams MBE comments: 'Sat nav devices are great for relieving a lot of motoring stress. But if in the process you're obscuring a vast swathe of your field of view, then you are taking a huge risk.

'A typical large screen sat nav 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.

'Placing a sat nav right in the centre of the windscreen will block most of your nearside view, and will mean you miss all the hazards that might be there. This is particularly dangerous on left hand bends, at junctions and crossings, and in any locations where you may share the road space with cyclists and pedestrians.'