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shutterstock 31722286If you’ve been driving for a good while, then the chances of you being able to read a map are very high. Using common sense, road signs and A-Z maps was the only way to get from A to B pre-sat nav, so there was no real choice in the matter.

Now, in 2014, it’s rare that you would be without a GPS device to guide you from country lanes to motorways, calmly giving you directions and estimated arrival times.

To mark their 25th anniversary, GPS technology specialists Garmin have carried out research that reveals some shocking statistics regarding the Great British public and their ability to follow a map.

Stats include:

  • 39% of people don’t know how to navigate using a traditional map and need to rely on guided directions in order to get them to their destination.
  • As a result16% admit that they are heavily reliant on a sat nav, even using it for journeys they make often.
  • A whopping 40% of people questioned refuse to openly admit when they get lost for fear of embarrassment.
  • 29% refuse to seek help and ask for directions altogether, despite being lost.
  • 27% more men compared to women admit to being too proud to ask for directions.

Kirsty Quartley, Garmin PND Product Manager comments:

“Technology plays an integral role in almost everything that we do, so much so that our Generation Y unequivocally view it not as a luxury – an optional addition, but as a life necessity and increasingly, a right. The research highlights just how reliant we are on technology to help get us through our everyday routines and it is becoming increasingly clear that without it, people simply feel ‘lost’, and as is the case without the security of some form of navigation device nearby, that becomes literal.”

Other findings

One of the biggest driving bugbears continues to be arguing over directions with 33% of people revealing that they regularly find themselves in these arguments with their partner. Maybe unsurprisingly,27% more men are likely to lie and secretly consult their sat nav in order to impress with their navigational skills and reduce any arguments.

The research also uncovered a serious safety concern with drivers being increasingly distracted with their appearance whilst at the wheel. Findings showed that women are twice as likely as men to be preoccupied with grooming themselves, regularly taking their eyes and concentration off the road.

Sat nav voices that drive you round the bend

It’s not just famous voices that are grating on the general public. Garmin found that one in 10 (11%) of people said that their mother’s voice would drive them crazy, closely followed by their partner’s (10%).

The most well-known voices that would drive most people around the bend include:

  • Russell Brand
  • Jonathan Ross
  • Ed Miliband
  • Alex Salmond
  • Jeremy Clarkson
  • David Cameron

Hmmmmmmm, all men. Surely there’s a few female voices that would irritate?

According to the Garmin research, the two voices that most people would like to hear on their sat nav are Benedict Cumberbatch – with his polished accent – followed by Carol Vorderman.

Do you agree with this list of most annoying and most relaxing? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below or start a conversation on our twitter or Facebook pages.