"Third of Brits unable to read a map and too ashamed to admit it"

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Published on 25 July 2014 by Gill

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Research carried out by GPS technology specialists Garmin reveals that more than a third (39 per cent) of people don’t know how to navigate using a traditional map and need to rely on guided directions in order to get them to their destination. As a result one in 10 (16 per cent) admit that they are heavily reliant on a sat nav, even using it for journeys they make often.

Almost half (40 per cent) of people refuse to openly admit when they get lost for fear of embarrassment. Almost a third (29 per cent) refuse to seek help and ask for directions altogether, despite being lost, with over a quarter (27 per cent) more men compared to women admitting to being too proud to ask for directions. This could partly be due to the fact that almost half of people (40 per cent) say that they never update their sat nav software at all.

Arguing over directions continues to be one the biggest driving bugbears with a third (33 per cent) of people revealing that they regularly find themselves in these arguments with their partner. It’s telling then that over a quarter (27 per cent) more men are likely to lie and secretly consult their sat nav without telling their partner in order to impress with their navigational skills and reduce any arguments.

However, drivers are showing increasing awareness and concern for other road users. Almost half (42 per cent) said they would feel safer having a dash cam (in-car recording device) while driving, not to protect themselves, but to protect those not easily seen, such as cyclists and pedestrians from drivers. Over a third (37 per cent) said that if they had the spare cash, they would upgrade their dash cam, followed by a third (33 per cent) who would upgrade their sat nav.

To save a bit of money on insurance premiums, drivers said they would be most willing to invest in a sat nav to help them find quicker routes to reduce their mileage. This is followed by fitting a car alarm, installing a car tracker and using a dash cam.

One in 10 (11 per cent) of people said that their mother’s voice would drive them crazy, closely followed by their partner’s (10 per cent). The most well-known voice that would drive most people around the bend is Russell Brand, followed by Jonathan Ross, Ed Miliband, Alex Salmond, Jeremy Clarkson and David Cameron. Benedict Cumberbatch with his polished accent is the voice most people would like to hear on their sat nav, followed by Carol Vorderman.

Kirsty Quartley, Garmin PND Product Manager, commented: “Technology plays an integral role in almost everything that we do. The research highlights just how reliant we are on technology to help get us through our everyday routines. Rather than seeing technology as consuming traditional skills like map reading, it should be celebrated for delivering speed, accuracy and safety – for example, dash cams are now seen as an important tool in helping to reduce road rage and side-vision cameras to eliminate blind spots to keep vulnerable road users safe."