Sat-nav user tips

Sat-nav user tips

Some great advice and tips on getting the most from your sat-nav.

Sat-nav user tips

Sat-nav user tips - make sure you familiarize yourself with your sat-nav system before you head-off.

They are an amazing invention that make our lives so much easier, but satellite navigation systems can prove frustrating and, if used incorrectly, can be a dangerous distraction.

Peter Rodger is the chief examiner at the Institute of Advanced Motorists. He supplied us with these sat-nav usage ideas and tips and agrees satellite navigation systems are a great tool, but they need to be used with some thought, planning and patience.

“They are only useful when used in combination with common sense and other aids to navigation; people need to follow the actual signs as well and not be over-reliant on technology to get them out of trouble each and every time.”

Tips for using sat-nav systems;

  • Before setting off make sure you have an idea of the route. Knowing your north from your south can help you check the sat-nav is not sending you to the wrong destination and means you don’t have to rely on it for the whole time.
  • Carry a road atlas with you – you might need it if you have wrongly programmed your satellite navigation system. Also, you might need a backup in the unlikely event of the GPS signal failing. Whatever you do, never drive around aimlessly in hope that a lost signal will come back again.
  • If you are using a detachable satellite navigation system make sure it is fully charged before starting your journey. You will also need to check that the screen is bright enough for you to read from it, but not too bright that it distracts you from essential car systems. The volume should also be adjusted to ensure you can hear everything clearly.
  • It’s important to mount the navigation system on your windscreen correctly, where the positioning of it doesn’t compromise what you see ahead. Ideally, put it on the side of your windscreen so you can easily see it from the corner of your eye.
  • If your car comes with a built-in satellite navigation system you will need to familiarize yourself with how your system operates as each manufacturers’ is different.
  • Touchscreens can be difficult to operate when you are trying to program in a destination. Make sure you program in your destination before starting your journey, or ask a fellow passenger to help you program it if you’ve already set off. Don’t let it be a reason for distraction.
  • Some sat-nav systems come with built-in speed zone information, just beware that sometimes speed limits change before the software is updated in the unit and some motorways also use variable speed limits.

In the market for a sat-nav unit? Check out our recent review of the Navman EZY260LMT.

About the author

Simon Lai

Simon is a writer and sometime contributor to the podcast. He also takes care of video production and product reviews. He met Joel through radio school and has worked with him on other ventures, reading news, producing and presenting radio content for regional networks. Simon doesn’t profess to be a car nut but enjoys driving first and foremost and has a penchant for hot hatches. He helps to provide the everyday-man perspective.

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