South West London retailers play down car gadget ‘danger’ report


Which? published a report on Monday warning that touch screen devices, including sat navs, distract drivers and increase the risk of road crashes.


By Nicholas Bonfield, Alice Foster & Ryan Walters

South West London retailers are refusing to get carried away following a consumer watchdog’s report claimed car gadgets are responsible for several fatal accidents a year.

The report, published on Monday by Which?, warned that touch screen devices, including satellite navigation, distract drivers and increase the risk of road crashes.

Which? Car Editor, Richard Hadland, said: “We found the sheer number of ways to carry out simple tasks in the cars was baffling, and crying out to be simplified.”

But retailers in South West London will not get swept up in the furore surrounding satellite navigation and other car gadgets.

“Sat navs are safe provided they are used properly,” said Faisal Nazar, Assistant Manager at Maplin Electronics in Wimbledon.

“As far as I’m aware, I don’t see any problems with satellite navigation.”

James Harper, maintenance manager at the Sat Nav Repair Centre in West Kensington, said that as far as he was concerned sat navs were not distracting compared with other car accessories.

He said: “If you start trying to stop people using sat navs you might as well try to stop cars from having windscreen wipers and car radios.”

Brake, a road safety charity, feels that any form of car technology can distract drivers and cause unnecessary accidents.

“Driving is the most dangerous thing most of us do on a regular basis,” said a Brake spokesperson.

“We have certainly seen a rise in accidents related to the use of technology whilst driving.

“We advocate not using any form of technology whilst driving.”

Over four percent of all road deaths in 2010 were blamed on distractions, excluding deaths caused by motorists using mobile phones.

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