April 8, 2011

Who’s really on your side – and who’s just waiting for the perfect moment to stitch you up good and proper? These days, it’s more than just OK to be paranoid: it’s positively the thing to do! When push comes to shove people are all just out for themselves. So would we be better off putting our faith in technology?

Not if new research from insurance provider Swinton is to be believed (but is it?) Swinton claim to have wasted their time and that of 3,000 unfortunate drivers by asking the latter a bunch of pointless questions to discover that: four out of five people have disregarded directions provided by their sat navs.

The more extraordinary finding surely is that one in five people haven’t. The social dynamics of Hitler’s Germany suddenly seem easier to understand: “At the next junction get out of your car and kill all foreigners.”

In reality your sat nav is quite unlikely to suggest setting fire to the Reichstag, invading Poland or whatever – or even drinking Carlsberg, watching the abysmal Boardwalk Empire, or voting Classic Labour. But what this perfidious little box might well do is foment intra-familial in-car arguments of the most violent and dangerous kind.

56% per cent of motorists said they had argued with a fellow passenger over sat nav directions, with – tellingly, Bankstone News is sure male readers will agree – “60% of women admitting to starting the argument.” How do sat navs achieve this amazing effect?

“By providing instructions so cunningly poised on the border between genius and imbecility, these evil devices lure fellow passengers into adopting opposed views on the validity or otherwise of the directions offered,” explains Doctor Gonosz Rohadék of Hungary’s National Centre for Anger Management. Net result: discord, divorce and family breakdown.

Swinton’s “research” suggests that 79% of us see sat navs as inherently suspect with 63% admitting to keeping a map in their car “just in case.” On average sat navs will divert innocent drivers 5.9 miles from their intended destinations. The role of user error in these redirections is presumably 0%.

But what exactly is a ‘sat nav?’ “An in-car sat nav is a helpful tool when embarking on a journey,” Swinton’s Chelton Steve explains “many drivers gain benefit from using one,” but “if a system is faulty, a sat nav can make a journey extremely stressful and much longer than it needs to be. Having a map as a backup is always a good idea.”

Free map and family legal advice helpline when you purchase car insurance through Swinton?


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