66% of millennials struggle
to read a road map
THERE'S nothing more fun than a road
trip: the joy of the open road, being able to stop wherever you like, that
feeling of freedom as you… get totally lost and take a wrong turning at the next
junction. But these days, the potentials for mistakes are far fewer, thanks to
technology. The invention of the Sat Nav has let drivers sit back, relax, and
focus only on taking the wheel. Gone (for many) are the days of unfolding an
unwieldy road map, ferreting about for a road atlas, or (heaven forbid) asking a
stranger for directions.
But is the new technology all it's really cracked up to be? Car leasing company
Cars On Demand surveyed 1,000 people to find out how much
they really rely on their Sat Navs. The 1st overall discovery was that 54% of
us would struggle to read a road map these days. However, if we look more
closely, 67% of those were aged between 18 and 44, and 43% of them could be
described as 'millennials', aged between 18 and 34. Only 16.5% were 55 or
over, demonstrating perhaps that we are slowly but surely losing the skills of
finding our way by good old fashioned map reading.
A similar amount of people overall (56%) say they do not keep a map in their
car. Only a very small proportion of millennials (9% of 18 to 24 year olds and 10%
of 25 to 34 year olds) would, although, when it comes to the older generation, the
figure is much higher: 66% of 45 to over 65's. Maybe it's because they've
gathered so much wisdom over the years, including the fact that when a phone
battery dies, if you don't have anything else to fall back on, you're pretty
much stuck! And clearly, those who do rely on technology so heavily wouldn't
even want to try and risk getting to their destination without it: 44% of those
surveyed say they would simply abandon the car journey if their Sat Nav broke!
Overall, however, people feel safer using GPS than with a printed map, with 85%
of us agreeing. Perhaps we've suffered one too many unreliable navigators, or,
when driving solo, the risk of taking our eyes off the road to actually look at
the map, is too great.
But on the other hand, perhaps we're also losing a bit of common sense. There
have been endless stories of drivers ending up in lakes, or dead ends, because
of an unreliable or out of date Sat Nav, and it turns out that over a third of
us would take an illegal turn, or drive down a bus lane, if our Sat Nav told us
to; which has the potential to be a recipe for disaster! So perhaps the
solution is to keep alert to what's around us, and not just slavishly follow
that soothing, computerised voice…
"The invention of this technology has
been beyond valuable, but we should still be wary of relying on it 100%.
Keeping a road map in the car is never a bad idea either!" acknowledges
Paul Brown, Managing Director at Cars On Demand.