Using a sat-nav can save you time and also allow you to explore routes you never knew existed easily and without needing to stop to read a map, but there are a few things to bear in mind before you set off on your next ride…
The IAM’s chief examiner, Peter Rodger, gives his top seven tips to help navigate you through your journey:
- Before setting off make sure you have an idea of the route.
Knowing your north from your south can help you check the sat nav is not sending you to the wrong destination and means you don’t have to rely on it for the whole time.
- Carry a road atlas with you
You might need it if you have wrongly programmed your satellite navigation system. Also, you might need a backup in the unlikely event of the GPS signal failing. Whatever you do, never drive around aimlessly in hope that a lost signal will come back again.
- Check the battery
If you are using a detachable satellite navigation system make sure it is fully charged before starting your journey.
- Check you can read it
You will need to check that the screen is bright enough for you to read from it, but not too bright that it distracts you. The volume should also be adjusted to ensure you can hear everything clearly and if you’ve connected it through to your helmet, check that its working as it should.
- Ensure its mounted securely
It’s important to mount the navigation system to your bike or scooter correctly, where the positioning of it doesn’t compromise what you see ahead. It should also be secure so that it doesn’t slip down or fall off.
- Familiarise yourself with the lay out
Don’t leave it until the first time you need to use it to try out your new sat nav. Familiarise yourself with how the system operates and just what buttons you need to press to get it to work.
- Make sure you programme in your destination before starting your journey
Touchscreens can be difficult to operate when you are trying to programme in a destination and the sat nav could be a big distraction so shouldn’t be set on the go,
- Use your own judgement and look at road signs
Some sat-nav systems are not modern enough to cope with SMART motorways (those with variable speed limits despite displaying speed limit information.) Be aware that the limit on your sat-nav may not always match the real world limit.
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