Could you find your way home without sat-nav? Millions couldn't
6 August 2007

Do you know a road from a river? It's been a bit tricky to distinguish the two in certain parts of the UK recently, but it should be easy as pie on a map.However, according to research commissioned by insurance provider Esure, 25 per cent of UK drivers can't read a basic road map, and 83 per cent of them could not identify the symbol for a motorway.No wonder sat-navs are so popular – although they are also part of the reason people have lost the ability to read maps. Eight per cent of those surveyed reckoned they couldn't live without their sat-nav systems, yet a rather worrying 50 per cent of motorists said that their sat-nav "drives them mad at least once a month".One in six drivers no longer keeps a map in the car at all, but given our skill – or lack of – at reading maps, this is probably no bad thing.“It’s time for motorists to take a refresher in map reading skills," said Scott Sinclair from Ordnance Survey. "Maps can really help you build up a sense of the world around you. Knowing how to read a map gives you access to much more information than a set of instructions on a screen.”

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