Sat nav slip-ups costing motorists 29 hours a year - study

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Motorists waste the equivalent of 29 hours every year using sat navs, according to a new study.

The time is lost when the devices send drivers either the long way or wrong way to their destinations, the report commissioned by black cab app mytaxi found.

The figure is based on analysis of the proportion of journeys delayed by sat nav misdirection and the average length of the hold-ups.

A poll of 2,000 drivers revealed that 27% cite confusing directions as the most annoying aspect of sat navs.

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

The majority (52%) of respondents admit they "switch off" and pay little attention to road signs and landmarks once a sat nav is leading the way.

Mytaxi general manager Andy Jones said: "Sat nav technology is undoubtedly a huge help to many people, but it is certainly not flawless.

"The results can be both frustrating and comical, as evidenced by the huge number of misadventures we have recorded."

Councils claim lorry drivers should be banned from using sat navs designed for cars after a spate of heavy goods vehicles causing chaos on routes where they exceeded the weight or height limit.

The Local Government Association, representing councils in England and Wales, wants legislation brought in to make it compulsory for lorry drivers who use sat navs to use commercial devices which include information on bridge heights and narrow roads.

A historic bridge in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, was closed for months after it was driven over by a lorry more than 10 times heavier than the structure's weight limit in September last year.

Residents in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, reported chaotic scenes in October last year when a lorry got stuck after being driven through the town's main shopping street.

From December 4, learner drivers will have to safely use sat navs to pass their driving test as part of a major overhaul of the assessment.

Transport minister Andrew Jones claimed the measure will help save lives and ensure the test is "relevant in the 21st century".