I RECENTLY joined the ranks of motorists who have ditched their trusty old street directory in favour of the alleged convenience of a satellite navigation system.
I say alleged because I haven't been able to get mine to work correctly, which, if you ask me, is mightily inconvenient.
While factory fitted systems are installed in the vehicle's dash, I'm one of the majority with the device attached to the windscreen with a suction cup.
I stuck mine in the bottom-right of the windscreen, keeping it mercifully away from my line of sight, but many motorists place their sat nav smack bang in the middle of the windscreen.
This accomplishes two things, neither of them good.
The first is the massive blind spot in the middle of the windscreen, making it harder to spot hazards such as pedestrians, cars and motorcycles.
You know... important stuff.
The second is the temptation to focus on the device itself, rather than the road. It's like playing a computer game, except in real life you can't hit the restart button if you fail.
The problem is so widespread that police are booking motorists for sat nav units that obstruct the driver's field of view and the same goes for making changes to system guidance while driving.
We usually think of mobile phones when talking about driver distraction but sat nav screens can be equally dangerous. Frankly, the only screen we should be watching is the windscreen.
For more information on sat nav systems, download a fact sheet from the motoring section of www.racq.com.au.