SatNav has a positive effect on driver safety
Satellite navigation has a positive effect on driving and traffic safety
Amsterdam, 18 June 2008 – TomTom, the leading supplier of navigation solutions today announced the results from leading research institutions in Europe and the US that prove the positive influence of satellite navigation devices on driving and traffic safety. The study was commissioned by TomTom and conducted recently in Germany, the UK, 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 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 devices reduces the number of kilometres 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. The study shows that using a navigation device reduces the number of kilometres that people drive when driving through an unknown area to an unknown destination compared to navigation by conventional means, which has positive effects on the environment and fuel costs.”
Drivers across Europe and the US report that they feel in control and alert when using a navigation device. Some examples of local statistics include:
• In Germany 80% of drivers with a navigation device stated they feel more in control when driving with a satellite navigation device and 66% feel more alert.
• In Spain, 81% of drivers with a navigation device report that their alertness stays the same or increases due to driving with a satellite navigation device.
Less stressed and more relaxed behind the wheel
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 in all countries. Some examples of local statistics include:
• Three quarters (77%) of navigation users in the UK confirm they use a navigation device to feel more relaxed while driving. Approximately three quarters (74%) of UK users said they feel less stressed driving with a navigation device.
• Feeling calmer while driving with a navigation device was reported by an overwhelming majority in all countries surveyed. 71% of users of a navigation system in the U.S. and 68% of the users in Italy respectively communicated this.
Compared to navigating by conventional means, the research proves that the workload of drivers is reduced when using a satellite navigation solution. 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 Germany and the US respectively. In other words, driving while using conventional navigation tools, such as maps and digital Internet route planners, proved to present a higher workload.
In the survey the majority of the users in most countries indicated that the use of a navigation system makes it easier to keep their attention on the road. Some examples of local statistics include:
• 74% of the German users of a navigation system found it easier to keep their attention on the road
• 59% of American users found it easier to keep their attention on the road
Positive effect on drivers’ behaviour
Changes in driving behaviour were observed by the experimenter/driving instructor that was sitting next to the participant in the instrumented vehicle studies. When driving with the navigation system significantly less driving errors were observed. For instance, in the US the instrumented vehicle study showed more dangerous actions on the road and more unsafe driving without a navigation system.
Similar positive results on the effect of navigation solutions on drivers behaviour were found from the survey. For instance:
• In the survey the majority of French navigation system users (60%) say they drive more safely with a navigation system.
• German users also state that they feel safer driving with a navigation device (65%).
Environmental benefits: reduction of mileage and time
The driving experiment proved that the number of kilometres 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 by 6.5%.
Time spent travelling is also proven to be reduced when using a navigation device. In Germany, for example this was a decrease of 11.2%. Fewer kilometres are driven, fuel is saved which 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 among a representative sample of drivers in Germany, the US the UK, 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 traffic safety. The results from this research are supported by a similar research conducted by TNO in 2007.
* The research methods, the justifications and results have been summarised in a ‘key findings’ document that can be requested through the contacts listed at the bottom of this press release. Individual country results are available upon request.