Your shopping cart

Your cart is empty

Satellite navigation has a positive effect on driving and traffic safety

Jun 07 2008

Satellite navigation has a positive effect on driving and traffic safety

Amsterdam, 17 June 2008 – TomTom, the leading supplier of navigation solutions, today announced the results of a study by leading research institutions in Europe and the US, which prove the positive influence of satellite navigation devices on driving and traffic safety. The research was commissioned by TomTom and conducted recently in the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Italy and the US.

The key findings of the research were as follows:

    • The use of satellite navigation devices heightens awareness and reduces the stress levels of the driver
    • The use of navigation devices reduces the driver’s workload*
    • The use of a satellite navigation device improves the driver’s behaviour when driving through an unknown area to an unknown destination
    • The use of a satellite navigation device reduces the number of miles driven when driving through an unknown area to an unknown destination
    • The use of satellite navigation devices reduces travel time when driving through an unknown area to an unknown destination

“TomTom has consistently led the market with innovative safety features such as hands-free calling, the Help Me! emergency menu and clear spoken instructions in our navigation devices,” said Harold Goddijn, CEO of TomTom. “We are pleased to see objective research further validate the fact that navigation contributes to driving safety and efficiency. Furthermore, the study shows that using a navigation device – compared to navigation by conventional means – reduces the number of miles that people drive when travelling through an unknown area to an unknown destination, which in turn has a positive effect on the environment and fuel costs.”

Better awareness
Drivers across Europe and the US report that they feel more in control and alert when using a navigation device. In the UK, 74 per cent of drivers with a navigation device stated that they feel more in control when driving with a satellite navigation device, and 55 per cent feel more alert (with just nine per cent disagreeing with this statement).

Less stressed and more relaxed behind the wheel
In all countries, reduction of stress proved to be an important reason to use a satellite navigation device, as well as one of the main effects of driving with navigation. For example, just over three quarters (77 per cent) of navigation users in the UK confirmed that they use a navigation device to feel more relaxed while driving. Approximately three quarters (74 per cent) of UK users said they feel less stressed when driving with a navigation device.

Furthermore, feeling calmer while driving with a navigation device was reported by an overwhelming majority in all countries surveyed, with 67 per cent of users confirming this in the UK.

Reduced workload*
Compared to navigating by conventional means, the research proved that the workload of drivers is reduced when using a satellite navigation solution. Using instrument-equipped vehicles, TUV/DLR (Germany) and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (US) measured reduced driver workload when participants were driving in unfamiliar areas to an unknown destination. In other words, driving using conventional navigation tools, such as maps and digital Internet route planners, resulted in a higher workload.

In the survey, the majority of users in most countries indicated that the use of a navigation system makes it easier to keep their attention on the road. In the UK, 59 per cent of users of a navigation system found it easier to keep their attention on the road, with just 13 per cent disagreeing with the statement.

Positive effect on driving behaviour
In the instrument-assisted vehicle studies, changes in driving behaviour were observed by a researcher/driving instructor sitting beside the participant. When driving with a navigation system, significantly fewer driving errors were observed. For instance, in the US, the instrument-equipped vehicle study revealed that more dangerous actions and more unsafe driving took place without a navigation system.

Similar positive results on the effect of navigation solutions on drivers’ behaviour were uncovered by the survey. For instance, in the UK, the majority of users (52 per cent) feel they drive more safely with a navigation system, while just seven per cent disagree.

Environmental benefits: reduction of mileage and time
The driving experiment proved that the number of miles driven when using a TomTom satellite navigation solution is reduced when driving through an unknown area to an unknown destination, compared to navigation by conventional means. For example, in Germany there was a reduction in the number of miles driven of 6.5 per cent.

Time spent travelling was also proven to be reduced when using a navigation device. In Germany, for example, this was a decrease of 11.2 per cent. With fewer miles driven and a reduction in fuel used, this is beneficial for both the car driver and the environment.

About the research
There were two elements used by TNO to determine the answer to the central question, “What are the effects of navigation systems on traffic safety?” A user survey was conducted amongst a representative sample of drivers in the UK, Germany, the US, France, Italy and Spain. Additionally, in-car studies of drivers were conducted in Germany by TUV and DLR, as well as in the US by Virginia Tech Transportation Institute. The research programme was conducted over a three month period and was completed in May 2008. The generic findings of this study show that satellite navigation solutions have a positive effect on driving safety. The results from this research are supported by similar research conducted by TNO in 2007.

Notes to Editors
The research methods, the justifications and results have been summarised in a Key Findings document that can be requested through the contact listed at the bottom of this press release. Local country results are available upon request.

* Subjective workload was measured by means of the Rating Scale Mental Effort (RSME), and objective workload was measured using Peripheral Detection Task (PDT). Further information is available upon request.

Please install Flash Player to enjoy this site.

You need to have Flash installed on your browser.

Get Adobe Flash Player