Despite stories of stories about sat navs sending drivers onto train tracks, in rivers, or hundreds of miles from their destination, the vast majority of young people would feel lost without their satnavs, according to a new survey by Leasing Options.
According to a study by University College London, using sat navs ‘switches off’ parts of the brain responsible for memory and navigation, making navigating using only road signs and a traditional map more difficult and meaning that you are less likely to remember a route naturally without technology to act as a guide.
Leasing Options put this to the test, surveying UK drivers to find out they feel about their sat navs.
Over a third of drivers surveyed thought that map applications and satellite navigation have made their sense of direction worse, with 97% of 18-24 year olds feeling stressed if their sat nav or map app stopped working.
Less than 2% of young drivers admitted they would be fully confident using just road signs and a paper map to travel to a new destination, with more than three out of five young drivers would never drive somewhere new without the assistance of technology. However, almost 80% admit they have got lost using a sat nav.
Young people do not trust their map-reading abilities, with fewer than 20% of 18-24 year olds carry a paper map in their car and only 1 in 20 have ever used one at all.
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However, almost three quarters of drivers aged 65 and over said they would have no problem getting somewhere new without satellite navigation.
This supports the theory that the overuse of technology is making our memories worse. According to a study published in the journal Memory, the over-reliance on search engines and navigational tools such as Google Maps could be making our ability to solve problems and process information.
Researchers found that if given the option of using a smart phone, participants still chose to look up answers rather than recalling them from memory, even for questions they knew the answers to.