Racing Against Car Navigation Systems Is New British Trend

Our vehicle satellite navigation systems get us from point A to point B. For many Brits, they are now serving as a race timer. A new trend called sat-nav racing is sweeping Britain, exposing over seven million drivers to additional danger on the road.

This new craze is more than foolish- it is downright deadly.

Beat the Clock has nothing on this new trend. The goal is to beat the estimated arrival time predicted by the car GPS navigation system. Time predictions made by a GPS system are based on posted speed limits. This means that anyone arriving sooner has either exceeded the speed limit or engaged in risky driving practices like weaving through traffic.

Millions of Brits admit driving faster than the speed limit due to racing against a GPS. Nearly 145,000 have crashed into a moving vehicle or parked car while trying to “win” this game that road safety advocates call “irresponsible and lethal.”

Over 160,000 drivers say they have gestured or flashed their car lights to other drivers to encourage them to increase speed.

GPS systems are built into recent model vehicles purchased with car loans or cash, sold as add-on accessories, and offered as mobile phone apps. Sainsbury’s Car Insurance reports that within the past year, close to 3.6 million drivers admitted exceeding the speed limit in an attempt to reach their destination faster than their GPS predicted. Sainsbury’s Finance car insurance head Ben Tyte commented that this is a “worrying trend.”

When used correctly, the GPS unit is a great tool designed for effective navigation and improved roadway concentration, said Mr. Tyte. Sainsbury encourages drivers to keep pedestrians, other drivers, and vehicle passengers in mind when using the system.

Emma Booth from Brake, a road safety charity, said that sat-nav racing is “offensive” to others who have died in vehicle accidents.