Some young drivers are playing a dangerous game by racing their sat-navs, according to research published by the AA.

Eight per cent of drivers aged between 18 and 24 admit they try to reach their destination ahead of their sat-nav’s estimated time of arrival. Regardless of age, two per cent of the 19,308 AA members surveyed said they regularly race their sat-nav.

AA president Edmund King said that racing the sat-nav was “a dangerous and futile game”.

“The best pace to set for your journey is the one that gets you – and everyone else on the roads – there in one piece,” he commented.

“Technology is always changing the way we drive and the development of in-car systems like sat-navs mean drivers must learn how to use them safely.”

Newly implemented changes to the practical driving test will require learners to show they can follow a sat-nav responsibly.

The AA boss added that young drivers are generally keen to get the most from the technology available to them and believes these changes to the test will help ensure that happens without damaging driver safety and attention.

Other revisions

New changes to the driving test mean that the independent driving part of the test has been extended to 20 minutes. Four in five candidates will be required to follow directions from a sat-nav, while reversing manoeuvres will change.

Learners will also be required to correctly answer a vehicle safety question whilst driving. Further changes are in the works too because 2018 will allow learner drivers on to motorways for the first time.

Ben Robb, brand manager at The Fuelcard People, comments: “The revised driving test better reflects real world driving conditions and will hopefully produce safer drivers.

“Introducing proper sat-nav usage and more typical parking manoeuvres should mean newly qualified drivers are much better prepared for a safe lifetime of motoring.”

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