SatNavs or Satellite Navigation Systems can take a lot of the stress out of driving, particularly if you are not entirely sure of how to get to your destination. However, as with all technological gadgets, there are some drawbacks.

One of the main functions of the SatNav is to give directions whilst en route. Most models have voice prompts which can alleviate the need to look at the screen. If you happen to take a wrong turn the device will give you directions to get you back on the pre-calculated route or re-calculate an alternative route to your destination. Additionally, most SatNavs give your approximate speed and the current speed limit in the area through which you are passing. The estimated journey time and distance to destination is also indicated on screen.

Other additional features may include the locations of amenities such as car parks, hotels, service stations and local attractions. Weather information and car park space availability can also be standard on certain models. The list does not stop there.

Advanced systems can provide information on traffic congestion, and thus the facility to circumnavigate these problem areas if desired.

SatNavs works by using the Global Positioning System GPS network, whereby the vehicle's position on the road is located via sattelite link-up.

The drawbacks associated with Car Satellite Navigation Systems are similar to those linked to using a mobile phone while driving. The danger of distraction. However, those systems that give verbal instructions have an advantage in that the driver can keep their eyes on the road.

Further Reading:
Driving in Europe
Driving Distance Calculator