August 4, 2011

Who can honestly say they have not looked at the journey time predicted by their satnav and thought: I can do better than that? Assuming the projected time reflects a mere average driver, the average driver dreads the thought of taking longer. Because then they’d be, like, a loser! Where the satnav sees an estimate, the driver sees a challenge.

This psychological weakness may help explain why a thousand people every day overtake on blind corners in a desperate attempt to beat the box. It’s Russian Roulette without the glamour, but with the potential bonus of taking out the cheerful young family coming round the corner in the opposite direction.

Research undertaken by Sainsburys car insurance – must have taken a while – has found that “7.2 million of Britain’s 37 million drivers” admit racing their satnavs. As previously noted, 340,000 overtake on blind bends, 240,000 tailgate, and 570,000 “speed through amber traffic lights” while attempting to beat the satnav clock. All of which results in 150,000 people injured in a vain attempt to disprove the insulting prognostications of an inanimate digital device.

“We are encouraging drivers using this new driving technology not to be tempted to become GPS racers,” says Sainsbury’s man Ben Tytte.

Meanwhile new windscreen-projected dashboard displays now have the ability to show ghost-data 3D images of both an average driver and the current driver’s previous best time on any given route – making it easier for drivers to see exactly what they should resist the temptation to compete against.


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