On your marks, get set, GO! Are you a sat nav racer?
Apparently, one in five drivers take their sat nav’s estimated journey time less as advice and more as a challenge, according to research by Sainsbury’s. Do you try to beat your sat nav’s estimated time of arrival?
Your sat nav’s estimated journey time is usually based on average traffic speeds for the roads being travelled in. And I’m ashamed to say that last Saturday, I programmed in my destination, laughed in the face of my sat nav’s 14 minutes past 3 o’clock estimated time of arrival (ETA), and put my foot down!
Ok, I didn’t drive dangerously or knowingly break the speed limit, but I thought that, given the clear roads likely ahead, I’d have a good chance of getting there quicker than anticipated.
Don’t sat navs relax you?
Sat navs can have a significant influence on driving behaviour.
The soothing voice recommending you to “turn left” or “take the next exit” can relax and help keep your speed down, as there’s no chance of getting lost. And it certainly beats having an argument with your co-pilot!
Plus, the warning of an impending speed camera can remind you to check your speed and slow down a little. I certainly feel more relaxed when driving to an unfamiliar destination if I have my sat nav on the windscreen.
Building on this, an emotionally sensitive sat nav is in development, which reacts to the emotions of a driver, delivering its instructions in a different tone or style appropriate to the driver’s mood. Reducing road rage, and thus road safety, is the primary aim, but it looks like this technology’s completion is some way off.
Tick tock, tick tock
Yet, it seems that the ETA has the opposite effect of all these noble aims, as we misinterpret a piece of guidance as a target to beat.
Though it could have been much worse – sat navs could have featured a timer counting down to the ETA. Or a little pace car, showing the position you should have been, based on average traffic conditions… the mind boggles at the prospect!
Do you take part in “sat nav racing”? And how does your sat nav influence your driving behaviour in general?
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