For all their benefits, are sat-navs a dangerous digital distraction? NSW Police traffic chief John Hartley says "In recent times, we have seen crashes and near misses involving drivers who rely only on the information provided by their GPS device." I have friends in this category; the same friends who fap about with their iPod while on the highway.
It all comes down to personal responsibility, and I don't see GPS devices being banned any time soon. Could voice activated units become compulsory at some point? You can't hold a phone to your ear while driving, and you're not supposed to install a DVD screen near the driver, so it's all about minimising distraction.
The Daily Telegraph says in an NRMA test last year, drivers using a GPS over a 35km route glanced at the map about 90 times for up to 1.2 seconds each time (that's up to 19 metres if you're going at 60km/h). Kind of alarming when you see it expressed like that. Still, with their maps updated, GPS units don't kill people. Bad drivers do. [Daily Telegraph]