Drivers can't reach their destination without a sat nav

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Black cab app mytaxi surveyed 2,000 drivers, with more than half (52%) admitting that they "switch off" and pay little attention to road signs and landmarks once the sat nav is guiding them.

However, poor directions are a major irritation. One in ten of those surveyed said that the devices do not always plot the fastest or shortest route, and 27% cite confusing directions as the most annoying aspect of sat navs.

Almost half (47%) said they have had a "verbal disagreement" with their device, while 31% admit to shouting at it as if it were a real person.

Mytaxi general manager Andy Jones commented: "Sat nav technology is undoubtedly a huge help to many people, but it is certainly not flawless and the results can be frustrating."

When the devices send drivers either the long way or wrong way to their destinations, the lost time adds up to more than a whole day each year, the study claims. It's estimated that motorists waste the equivalent of 29 hours every year using sat navs.

And because of our reliance on the gadgets, we are becoming "less street smart", according to the report.

"Sat navs, once hailed as the high-tech saviour for drivers with a poor sense of direction the world over, have turned us into a nation of unthinking, unquestioning 'zombie' drivers," the authors warned.

As of December this year, learner drivers will have to find their way around the driving test route by using a sat nav device.

Transport minister Andrew Jones said this would help "equip new drivers with the skills they need to use our roads safely".

Gareth Llewllyn, chief executive of the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA), agreed, saying: "It's vital that the driving test keeps up to date with new vehicle technology and the areas where new drivers face the greatest risk once they've passed their tests."

How reliable is your sat nav? Have you ever shouted at it?

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