Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/18/satnav_research/
Stressed? Over-worked? Buy a satnav
Satnavs have positive driving impacts, claims TomTom
Looking for ways to reduce stress and heighten your awareness? Then the answer’s simple: buy a satnav. "Research" has found the GPS devices have several positive impacts on the modern driver.
According to independent research conducted on behalf of… er… satnav maker TomTom, 74 per cent of UK drivers said they felt more in control when driving with a satnav. In addition, 55 per cent also said they felt more alert when using one – or was it just the three roadside coffees?
Stress can also be reduced with the aid of a satnav it seems, because another 74 per cent of Blighty’s drivers said that the directional gadgets helped to keep them calmer while out on the road.
It gets better. Satnavs can also help to reduce a driver’s so-called "overall driving workload", aside from the obvious bit of pedal pushing and wheel turning. As part of the research, “instrument-equipped vehicles” were used to measure drivers’ workloads in unknown areas or whilst en-route to unfamiliar destinations.
The overall outcome - guess what? - was that it’s far easier to have a voice telling you when and where to turn than it is to plot a route by celestial navigation or with a torn paper map.
But if you’re keen on driving around in your Chelsea Tractor, then you shouldn’t feel so guilty if you use a satnav to guide you to Harrods and back. That’s because the research also found that most drivers’ routes were shortened, due simply to the fact that they didn’t get lost as frequently.