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Bored Brits resort to ‘route racing’

7th September 2010 Print

More than 80% of British motorists who use a sat-nav have admitted to regularly pitting their wits against the device in order to reach their destination ahead of the time estimated by sat-nav or to find a better route, research by Manheim Auctions has revealed. Described as ‘Route Racing’, bored drivers who are already familiar with part or all of their route have resorted to playing games intended to out-think their sat-nav by getting from A to B faster than the satellite predicts.

Alternatively, ‘Going Dark’ involves deliberately taking an alternative route to avoid roadworks, congestion or other hazards to see how long it takes sat-nav to recalculate the route.

“For motorists who use sat-nav purely as a guide and who already know how to get to their destination, game playing is something to pass the time. ‘Route Racing’ by trying to out-think the device rather than simply following the automated voice just goes to prove that no matter how good technology is today, it’s no substitute for local road knowledge,” commented Craig Mailey, Client Services & Marketing Director, Manheim Auctions.

"‘Route Racing’ represents the triumph of man over machine and a quicker, safer journey," says AA Head of Road Safety Andrew Howard.

"Modern Traffic information coupled with local knowledge means drivers can know things that the sat-nav doesn't - where the roadworks are, where congestion is likely, and take another route. They can also out-think the sat-nav and keep to main roads in snow and ice because they are more likely to be gritted and safe."

The findings follow recent research by Manheim Auctions, the world’s largest vehicle auction company, which revealed only one in eight motorists trust their sat-nav to take them directly to their destination. Over a third of Brits have got completely lost whilst relying on their navigation system, with 15% missing an important event such as a job interview, wedding or first date.