Four out of five young drivers can't read a map

The rise and rise of the satnav has left young people without a once essential driving skill - map reading. According to a new survey, four out of five young drivers are unable to read a map, relying instead on digital navigation.

Young drivers can't read maps

Pic: Corbis

In the poll of 2,000 drivers found that 80 per cent of 18 to 30-year-olds were unable to find their way without electronic help, and almost two out of three confessed they preferred to use satnav on a journey.

By comparison, 53 per cent of over-60s were still happy to use a conventional map.

And it's not just women who are dependent on navigation help - 59 per cent of men admitted they would struggle without their trusty satnav, along with 69 per cent of women.

Though 83 per cent of those surveyed said they owned a road map, only one third kept one in the car.

Steve Barnes from, which carried out the poll, told the Daily Mail: "Our over reliance on satnavs is worrying as they are not always correct 100 per cent of the time.

"Map reading is a valuable skill and one which should not be lost especially amongst our younger generations. We have to remember that technology cannot be counted on all of the time."

The results of the survey come hot on the heels on news of 67-year-old Belgian woman Sabine Moreau, who set out to Brussels train station 38 miles from her home, and, following instruction from her satnav system, ended up 900 miles away in Zagreb, Croatia.

What do you think? Is it inevitable that map reading as a skill will die out, and should young drivers be taught the basics? Leave your comments below...