Where Should I Place the Sat Nav on My Windscreen?14th April 2017
Maintaining a constant level of road awareness is of the utmost importance whenever you’re at the wheel. Anything that distracts you or commands your attention away from the road ahead is a serious driving hazard.
Many drivers use GPS navigation to help them find their way quickly and without hassle. But a common conundrum for many drivers involves finding the most suitable position for their sat nav in their vehicle. The windscreen is usually the go-to option for many, but where is the optimal windscreen position for your sat nav? That’s what we’re looking at in this article.
Sat navs and the law
While there aren’t any specific sat nav windscreen laws, there is a general windscreen obstruction law to follow. This will allow you to choose the best approach for using a sat nav while driving.
The thing to keep in mind is to keep your windscreen clear of any obstructions that might impede your ability to view the road ahead. This typically means anything in the direct line of sight of the driver.
As common sense would suggest, a sat nav shouldn’t be placed in the area of the windscreen directly in front of you, as your view would be seriously obstructed. However, your sat nav should also be placed away from locations that would require you to take your eyes off the road for a substantial period of time – more than a couple of seconds.
Finding this sweet-spot will be different for every driver and every vehicle, so it’s imperative to test different locations before settling on one.
Optimal sat nav position
A windscreen-mounted sat nav should be easily visible to the driver. You should be able to look at and read the display without drawing your full attention from the road in front of you.
If we rule out the portion of the windscreen immediately in front of you, a couple of suitable locations come to mind. The lower section of the windscreen is definitely recommended, for a few reasons.
Having your sat nav low-down means it won’t invade into your field of view as much as it would higher up. It also won’t be in danger of interfering with your rear-view mirror or sun visors.
The sat nav obviously needs to be close to the driver, and the bottom right section of the windscreen is potentially ideal for many. However, you’ll have to be wary of space. Cables could become entangled with other controls – including the steering wheel – so bottom-centre to the left of the steering wheel might be a better choice. Just make sure to keep the device away from airbags or hazardous impact-zones where it could cause further damage or injury during a collision.
Avoid the windscreen altogether?
The Highway Code states that you should keep your windscreen entirely clear of anything that might hamper your view of the road and your surroundings. It may be better, then, to mount your sat nav elsewhere instead.
The dashboard is definitely an option, you just need to find a secure and reliable method of mounting it without worry of it sliding, tipping or falling. There are many holders, mats and mounts available, some suitable for both windscreen and dashboard. Use this to find the perfect location to suit you, keeping in mind how easy it is to see, read and use your sat nav without hampering your road awareness.
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