Nov 092017
 

Whether you have a trusty, old TomTom or you are using apps on your smart phone, many drivers rely on electronic navigation to get from A-to-B.

However, stricter laws which came into effect in March 2017 see some drivers punished for using a Sat Nav or Sat Nav apps unsafely whilst driving. The law makes no distinction between changing the route on a map, answering a call and checking your social media accounts, so don’t be caught out.

Here is a list of Warranty Direct’s top tips for using your satellite navigation tools safely – and legally – on the roads…

Positioning

It’s legal to use hands-free devices on the road – so mounting your device to your windscreen before you set off is essential. The Highway Code states your windscreen must be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision, so don’t place your device directly in your line of sight.

The bottom right corner of the windscreen or near the dashboard air vents are best – mounting it too low will mean that your eyes are off the road for too long, so avoid this.

Dictation is important

Roads can often be congested with complicated layouts needing your full attention. In addition, studies have shown reading information on a Sat Nav could cause a change in scanning behaviour and increase the risk of a hazard being missed.

Make sure your Sat Nav’s voice instructions are turned on and can be heard clearly before starting your journey – this will allow you to listen to instructions rather than taking your eyes off the road for too long.

Don’t adjust and drive

Seven percent of drivers have stated that being distracted by a Sat Nav has nearly caused them to have an accident.

Taking your eyes off the road to adjust your Sat Nav is distracting and can be dangerous. Always pull over in a safe place before changing settings. Doing this on the move will take one hand off the wheel and your eyes and mind from the road.

Seeing is believing

Don’t follow your Sat Nav’s instructions blindly and ignore what you can see in front of you.

If the road looks wrong, don’t take it. Watch for signs – particularly height, weight or width restrictions. If you have a large vehicle or a caravan, you can’t be sure that a road is suitable just because the Sat Nav tells you to go down it.

Watch out for road closures, temporary speed limits and no-entry signs – ignoring these is an offence and could endanger yourself and other road users. If the Sat Nav suggests an unsuitable road, avoid it then pull over in a safe place to find an alternative route.

 

Essential updates

A study has revealed one in 20 drivers received a speeding fine because their Sat Nav allegedly showed the wrong speed limit.

Roads are often changed, so it’s important to keep your device updated so it doesn’t show you old information.

Most Sat Nav units can be easily updated on your computer to the latest map version, so you can take advantage of any new roads, layouts and speed limits.

Don’t invite thieves

If you leave your Sat Nav on display it will be a potential target for thieves. Hide the unit, power cable and mount out of sight.

Remember to wipe the glass to remove any marks left by the suction cup, as this will be a clue that there is a Sat Nav in the car.

Dec 012016
 

Ever since the development of the very first automobile, the Benz Patent Motor Car in 1885, the motoring industry has been a constant cycle of new intelligence and innovation. From the Ford Model T to the Bugatti Veyron, each year sees a range of technology released that is taking the car to places we never thought it could go. These developments are something we’re constantly bearing in mind at Warranty Direct as our policies will need to reflect the changes in car safety and reliability.

We’re now reaching a particularly important stage in the evolution of the motorcar, with environmental concerns being the most pressing issue, so it will be fascinating to see what features come as standard in the average car in ten years’ time. Find out more about what you can expect to see in your car in years to come with Warranty Direct’s look into the potential Future Features of Motoring.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alternative Fuels

Given carbon emissions from vehicles is a huge talking point, and will continue to be for some time, the possibilities that alternative fuels give to the motoring industry are crucial. As the world’s top selling hybrid vehicle, the Toyota Prius set the standard in terms of quality and availability at the beginning of the alternative energy era. However, in recent years Renault Zoe and the Nissan Leaf have provided genuinely affordable, all-electric options, leading the way in sustainable transport for the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘Live’ Satellite Navigation

Satellite navigation has been a part motoring technology for some time now, but we’re about to reach a new stage of capability. Nokia-owned company, HERE, have developed a dynamically updating Live Map, which is essential to autonomous cars, and plots every lane marker, guard rail, and speed limit change to an accuracy of ten centimetres – this is three to five times better than the current GPS systems.

 

 

 

 

 

V2V Communication

Vehicle-to-vehicle communication will mean that cars are able to share alerts, such as traffic delays, accidents, and warnings, over encrypted radio signals. This will make driving far safer, as it will allow other cars to develop a picture of what’s unfolding around them and the driver, based on the speed, position and braking status of other cars on the road. This technology is already available in the Mercedes Benz E-Class, but is currently only a Benz network feature – however, this may not be the case for long.

 

 

 

 

 

Head-up Displays

Another development which could significantly improve the safety of driving. Head-up displays project details crucial to a driver, such as speed, fuel projections, and GPS directions, onto the windscreen, meaning the driver never has to look away from their main focus – the road. In terms of satellite navigation, we may even start seeing ‘active glass’, capable of displaying vibrant images and upcoming corners in the road.

 

 

 

 

 

Active Health Monitoring

This feature would work in conjunction with basic autonomous technology and could be hugely important for the safety of drivers and those around them. With the implementation of seatbelts and/or steering wheels with sensors that track vital statistics, a car could detect any sudden health issues – such as a heart attack – in the driver and could pull itself over and make an emergency services call.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Autonomous Vehicles

Within a decade, fully autonomous cars could well be the norm rather than the exception. Tesla, leading innovation again, have already released footage of cars that are equipped with full self-driving hardware – the driver can input their destination into the sat-nav, and the car navigates its way to the destination, stopping for pedestrians and performing a parallel park at the end… So we might expect driving tests to become easier over the next ten years too! Before that however, legislation and regulations regarding the use of autonomous cars as a mode of transport are still to be decided.

These are just a few of the exciting possibilities that await motorists in the future. What will the future of vehicle warranties bring? Time will tell. As always we’ll be keeping an eye out for any motoring news that may be of interest here at the Warranty Direct blog and via our Facebook and Twitter pages. Make sure you like and follow our social channels to stay connected with Warranty Direct.