Satnav audio steers drivers minds astray
SATNAV systems could impair driving ability, according to a study by academics at Lancaster University and Royal Holloway, University of London.
Drivers’ performance was affected in an experiment during which volunteers were set tasks by a computer that mimicked instructions given by a satnav. The results showed that when people were following complicated satnav instructions they tended to drive faster, with more steering variations, as well as being less likely to notice pedestrians who might step out.
Dr Polly Dalton, from the department of psychology at Royal Holloway, said: “People were able to follow one simple instruction without any significant impact on their driving.
“But as soon as they had to remember a compound instruction, consisting of two sequential directions, we began to notice a difference in driving ability.
“Our research highlights the importance of the way in which auditory instructions are given.”
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