Blind spot.....

Wednesday, February 10, 2010 by Ed Mead

Blind spot…..

This has little to do with property really but driving around all day everyday my eyes have been opened to the perils of something that’s meant to actually help us drive around all day.

I’d like to talk, if I may, about the unbelievable and clod hoppish phenomenon that is the screen mounted sat nav. Rather like mobile phones the penetration of these ubiquitous gizmos must now be close to 100% and you’ll see them in cars from Park Lane to Peterhead.

I still have to use a map because my car has only got a stupidly expensive proprietary system that leaves the last two postcode digits off (come on Audi) and costs all of £2k. But with screen mounted ones will do a full postcode search for less than 5% of that price it’s not surprising people are filling their boots.

It’s fine to blunder about the countryside wafting from hedgerow to hedgerow till the fat lady tells you to turn right, but in the frenzied environment that is London, especially in rush hour, waiting for a voice or judging which actual turning the flipping thing is talking about can really irritate the long tail behind you.

But that all pales into insignificance next to the single most bone headed response most people have to using their latest must have gadget which is to stick it right in the middle of the driver’s part of the windscreen. Right in the bit of the screen you actually have to look through to see where you’re going when you’re driving. I promise you, take a look next time you’re driving at where these things are mounted. It’s possible that for many who practice this form of motorized madness they’re missing at least 10% of what they should be seeing and often it’s more.

For the majority of people who drive the worst this can cause is a dent here or there, unless, like me, you ride a motorbike. For us and many cyclists this sort of probably illegal stupidity could mean something far more serious, and having seen three close shaves in the last week it’s something that needs to be thought about.

Come on plod, start pulling a few people over and reading them the riot act and let’s see if common sense can prevail.