GPS Racing: The worrying new trend on our roads

Published: 01/05/2013

The days of heading out on the road with little more than a map and a bit of common sense have all but ended; sat nav systems are now as almost as common a feature as airbags and seat belts, albeit far from as safe.

Our over reliance on satellite navigation systems is undoubtedly a problem within itself – one driver, upon following the advice of his sat nav, ended up driving 200 yards up a river. However there is a much more dangerous side to these clever little devices, one that has caused close to 150,000 road traffic accidents.

GPS racing is a worrying new game played by some drivers on our roads. The rules are simple; enter your destination into your sat nav then try to ‘beat’ the estimated time of arrival.

The Fast and the Furious

Figures by Sainsbury’s Car Insurance have shown 7.2 million drivers have admitting playing this dangerous game, many deploying dangerous tactics in order to ‘win’.

  • 3.6 million have broken the speed limit
  • 1.2 million have driven through traffic lights turning to red
  • 570,000 failed to slow down at roundabouts and/or crossroads
  • 322,000 illegally overtook other vehicles
  • 241,000 tailgated other vehicles
  • 161,000 tried to encourage other drivers to speed up.

144,000 drivers admitted to having a crash or hitting a parked car as a result of GPS racing.

Yorkshire and Humberside drivers are the biggest GPS racing culprits with 20 per cent admitting racing their GPS clock. They were closely followed by London (18 per cent) and the South West (17 per cent).

Ben Tyte is the Head of Care Insurance at Sainsbury’s Finance:

“Used correctly GPS units are a fantastic invention that help drivers navigate effectively and concentrate on the roads far more than when using maps or printed directions.

“However we are encouraging drivers using this new driving technology to have the safety of any passengers, other road users and pedestrians at the forefront of their minds and not be tempted to become GPS racers.”

Content correct at time of publication

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