Drivers issued urgent warning to update or ditch sat navs after ‘extremely worrying’ trend

A sat nav

Outdated sat navs could cause serious issues for drivers

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 25/08/2023

- 10:40

Sat navs have been blamed for the rise in people driving the wrong way on the motorway

Drivers are being advised to update their sat navs as soon as they can or they could face issues when travelling on shorter and longer journeys.

Experts are saying this is even more important in anticipation of the bank holiday weekend, where more than 14 million people are expected to hit the roads.

With a greater number of people on the roads, breakdowns and accidents are more likely and drivers can protect themselves from incidents like this by being aware of the latest road traffic updates.

This will be further exacerbated by the upcoming rail strikes, with more motorists relying on their cars to mitigate the impact of a reduced timetable and some areas not seeing any services at all.

A sat nav

Sat navs have been blamed for drivers travelling the wrong way down the motorway


There are also fears of drivers relying on massively outdated navigation systems which could show them incorrect information.

Recent data found that the rate at which people drive the wrong way on the motorway has increased 13 per cent in just one year, with sat nav systems being blamed for the incidents.

Britons going to the Creamfields music festival this weekend are also being advised to avoid using their sat navs and instead rely on signs and police directions in the area.

The police have closed a number of roads around the area which could become easily congested, with drivers being asked to “follow the instructions on the sign and not your sat nav”.

Keith Hawes, director of Nationwide Vehicle Contracts, has instructed motorists to update their sat navs and other car technology to ensure they are not caught out by any recent changes.

He said: "Hearing that there’s been an increase in road accidents due to outdated sat navs is extremely worrying.

"This is particularly concerning as learner drivers now have to follow sat navs as part of their practical test which could cause confusion, on top of an already stressful situation.

"All road users should update their sat nav every few months and always before a big trip or when heading to a location they have never been to before.

"So if you’re planning a trip away for the bank holiday the time is now to check your current systems."

Keith Hawes stressed the importance of updating the technology they rely on, especially when travelling in city centres.

There is a higher chance of accidents and road closures, with drivers needing to know of any updates or they could face long queues or even dangerous situations.

If drivers cannot work out how to update their system or are cautious about how long it may take before a trip away, experts suggest other methods.


A mobile sat nav

Experts are urging drivers to update their sat navs before the bank holiday weekend


Map applications like Waze rely on drivers to update the maps with live traffic updates to create one of the most up-to-date navigation systems possible.

Other features include information on live road works, temporary speed limits and even the location of some speed cameras.

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