Is your sat nav stealing your focus?

Sat nav on windscreen.

Eyes on the road! Is your sat nav obstructing your view?

Placing your sat nav in the wrong place on the windscreen could lead to potentially catastrophic accidents, putting cyclists and pedestrians at risk. 

The Department for Transport (DfT) offers advice on where to place your sat nav to save obstructing your view of the road.

Obstructing the road

Experts from GEM Motoring Assist warn that large screen devices positioned in the centre of the windscreen can block cyclists and pedestrians from view.

This is particularly dangerous when turning left and at junctions.

Neil Worth, GEM Chief Executive, says: “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’re taking a risk as well as breaking the law.”

Drivers should also know that being caught with your sat nav in the wrong position could actually land you a big fine.

The Highway Code states that “windscreens and windows MUST be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision”.

Placing your sat nav in the centre of the windscreen is not illegal, but could lead to an on-the-spot fine of £100 and three penalty points if it’s seen to be causing an obstruction or distracting you from the road.

You could even be fined up to £1,000 if you unsuccessfully challenge the charge in court.

Where to place your sat nav

The typical large screen sat nav measures nearly seven inches (17cm) wide by four inches (10.48cm) high, blocking a significant portion of the road.

However, even a small screen sat nav could limit your view if mounted in the wrong place.

The DfT recommends that sat nav devices are secured low and to the right of the steering wheel rather than in the middle of the windscreen.

If devices will only fit in the centre, they should be positioned as low as possible to cause minimal obstruction.

Drivers should also avoid placing sat navs directly in front of passengers, as they could cause serious injury in the event of an accident.

Planning a summer staycation? Here are our essential summer driving tips to help keep you safe on the roads.

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