Press Office


5 million drivers don’t feel confident reading a road map for directions

  • 30% of drivers couldn’t identify traditional road map symbols
  • One in five claims for accidents involving sat navs are because drivers change lanes quickly to follow directions
  • A third of drivers say they’ve taken a wrong turn by following either a sat nav or mobile phone app for directions
  • 14% of drivers confess to illegally using their phone for directions

A recent investigation by Admiral car insurance found that more than one in 8 drivers don’t feel confident using a map to get directions, which could mean there are over 5 million motorists unsafely navigating roads across the UK1.

The study, which looked at how well motorists would fare if they had to rely on using a traditional road map to get from A to B revealed that more than 60% of drivers admitted they haven’t used an old-style road map for directions for a long time and more than one in 20 drivers (6%) confess they are ‘terrible with maps’, so avoid using them altogether. Meanwhile, 7% of drivers admit they have NEVER used one.

Of the 25% of drivers who still use a traditional road map all the time, 73% are over the age of 45, compared with just 12% of drivers under the age of 35.

Digital drivers

When it comes to finding their way to a brand new destination, more than half of drivers in the UK rely on a sat nav, while almost a quarter of drivers say they use a map app on a mobile phone to find their way. This is in comparison to 15% of those who say they prefer to use road signs to help them navigate and 8% who rely on their instinct alone to find their way.

With many cities around the UK closing roads and making temporary or permanent changes to their layout after the Coronavirus lockdown, it’s sensible to check your route before you head off on a journey.

Relying heavily on their mobile phone’s navigation app could mean motorists are not only distracted while driving, but they could also be frequently breaking the law.

When asked where they place their phone while driving 14% admitted to leaving it somewhere unsafe either on the passenger seat, rested but not secured to the dashboard, or on their lap. Motorists caught touching their phone, even if it is to quickly alter their route, could be hit with a hefty fine and receive points on their licence.