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GPS has a Positive Effect on Driving and Traffic Safety

Drive safely - Arrive aliveFor folks who have been driving for quite some time (but are not familiar with a new destination) and for first-time drivers – avoid getting lost ending up in unfamiliar/strange places. Avoid swerving (and being apprehended by the police) by prompting you way before so you can go to the proper lane. In addition, some car navigation system enables you to use your cellphone hands-free with Bluetooth technology allowing you to free up your hands for driving safely. Leading Dutch research institute TNO today announced the results of research which prove the positive influence of satellite navigation devices on driving and traffic safety. The study was commissioned by Aon, Athlon Car Lease, Delta Lloyd (part of Aviva Plc) and TomTom, the leading GPS company in Europe.

Key findings:
• The use of car navigation improves the driver’s behaviour when driving through an unknown area.
• The use of satellite navigation system heightens alertness and reduces the stress levels of the driver
• Drivers who do NOT have the use of a satellite navigation solution have 12% more damage claims
• The use of a car satellite navigation solution reduces the amount of miles driven by 16%
• The use of a car satellite navigation solution reduces travel time when driving through an unknown area to an unknown destination by 18%
• The use of a car satellite navigation solution reduces the workload (the amount of effort it takes the driver to drive) of the driver when travelling through an unknown area to an unknown destination.

Improvement of driving behaviour
The research showed that when a driver uses a satellite navigation solution they stop 25% less frequently and are stationary for 35% less time. Satellite navigation solutions also reduce the number of turns required to get to the destination compared to conventional navigation tools, such as paper maps or online route planners. What is also shown is that driving behaviour has improved, with over 50% fewer inappropriate actions, such as ignoring traffic signs. The driver can focus on driving rather than finding the way.

More alert and less stressed behind the wheel
The research showed that satellite navigation solutions heighten the alertness of drivers and provide them with an improved attention span, whilst also reducing stress. 78% of users have the feeling that they have everything under control when using a TomTom satellite navigation solution. They are more alert behind the wheel and more conscious of traffic behind them.

Less workload
The research proves that the workload of drivers is reduced when using a satellite navigation solution. The workload is 20% less when driving with a TomTom satellite navigation solution and involved less exertion. Driving while using conventional navigation tools, such as maps and digital Internet route planners, proved to present a more intense workload.

Reduction of mileage
The research proved that the amount of kilometres driven when using a TomTom satellite navigation solution is reduced by 16%. Time spent travelling is reduced by 18%. Because fewer kilometres are driven, petrol is saved which is beneficial for both the car driver and the environment.

Reduction in frequency of insurance claims
The research proves that lease drivers who do NOT have satellite navigation make 12% more damage claims than those who do have satellite navigation.

About the research
There were three elements used to determine the answer to the central question “What are the effects of navigation systems on traffic safety?”: a user survey; damage database analysis; and test drives. The research programme was conducted in The Netherlands over a six month period and was completed in December 2006. The generic findings of this study prove that satellite navigation solutions have a positive effect on traffic safety.

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