BMW Pathfinder "micronavigation" system prototypeEnlarge Photo
However, a new survey thinks that subconsciously trying to beat the displayed ETA could be putting millions of drivers at risk.
It's known as GPS racing. Described as such it sounds fun, but it's leading to millions of motorists driving more dangerously. The ICM survey found that an estimated 7.2 million drivers in the UK alone have raced to a destination to beat the ETA predicted by their sat nav device, and half of those have admitted to breaking the speed limit in an attempt to beat their GPS in the last year.
200,000 have managed to hit a curb whilst driving erratically and over 144,000 have clipped another vehicle or parked car whilst speeding to their destination. Road rage is another byproduct, with more than 161,000 drivers admitting to flashing their lights or gesticulated at another driver for holding them up whilst they race to point B.
Over a million GPS racers have deliberately driven through a light changing to red and over half a million said they didn't slow appropriately for roundabouts/traffic circles and intersections, according to the survey.
Caroline Perry from U.K. road safety charity Brake, said "People who are racing their GPS system are putting themselves and the lives of other road users at risk. Speeding is a highly irresponsible act which causes deaths and serious injuries on our roads."
Ben Tyte, head of car insurance at Sainsbury's Finance, which commissioned the research, added "We are encouraging drivers using [satellite navigation] to have the safety of any passengers, other road users and pedestrians at the forefront of their minds and not be tempted to become GPS racers".
If there are 7.2 million drivers GPS racing in the U.K, one might wonder how many American drivers are doing the same!
Do you have any experience of people "GPS racing"? Maybe you do it yourself, subconsciously or otherwise. Let us know in the comments section, or over our Facebook and Twitter pages.