Are Windscreen Sucker Mounts Illegal in the UK?15th June 2017
Keeping your vehicle safe on the road should be a top priority for any driver. It’s not just your tyres and the mechanical components you have to keep an eye on, your windscreen is a vital safety feature, too.
While on the road, you need full visibility at all times. A sat nav can help you to navigate the winding roads far more conveniently than a paper A-Z, but if it’s mounted poorly on your windscreen it will be more of a hinderance. In this article, we’re looking at the legality of windscreen suction mounts and how they affect your ability to drive safely.
The Highway Code
In the Highway Code, it is stated that “windscreens and windows MUST be kept clean and free from obstructions to vision”. When deciding to mount anything on your windscreen, you need to keep this in mind; you will be penalised if you are found to be in breach of this.
While mounting a sat nav to your windscreen technically isn’t illegal, it isn’t encouraged. If you do want to use a windscreen sucker mount, you should mount the sat nav as low down and close to the dashboard as possible. Keep it away from the area of your windscreen that is swept by your wipers, but also make sure that it doesn’t interfere any of the vehicle controls.
Windscreen mounting position
The sat nav should be in your line of sight, but not in a position that blocks your view of the road. Obviously, installing your suction mount in the dead centre of your windscreen is a major hazard, and you’ll be quickly penalised while driving in this manner.
It can be difficult to find the perfect safe spot on your windscreen – which is why windscreen mounting isn’t encouraged – but using common sense and trying out a few different places before you set off should be of help. Some things to remember are:
- Don’t block your view of the road – the size of the mount and the sat nav itself will have an effect on this
- Don’t mount your sat nav where it might cause further harm during a collision
- Make sure you can see the screen clearly without having to take your eyes completely off the road
- Make sure the sat nav and the mount don’t interfere with other vehicle controls – wires and cables can get in the way, for instance
Other mounting options
It’s always worth looking into alternative mounting options when using a sat nav in your car. You can avoid obstructions on windscreens by choosing a non-slip dash mount for your sat nav, and you can also find mounts that hook into your air vents. These options will keep the screen easily accessible, while maximising your field of vision while driving.
Also keep in mind that a suction mount will leave a tell-tale sign on the windscreen when you take it off. This could suggest to thieves that you are potentially keeping an expensive sat nav in the car. This shouldn’t be the case, but if you’re worried about break-ins, a windscreen mount may not be ideal.
Every car is different, so finding the perfect solution for you can take some time. The main thing to remember is to keep your windscreen clear and not to become distracted while using a sat nav while driving. A suction mount might be easy and convenient for you, but it could also be dangerous.
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