Monday, 5 November 2012

Got a Satnav ?

 I got my satnav - a Garmin - (not advertising!) I was also expecting some sort of instructions, but there were none.

Several agitated phone calls later it transpires that the manufacturers don't issue instructions - well how clever is that ?  so now I had this black plastic thing learing at me and I have no idea what to do with it, apart from chuck it in the bin.

Now it's common knowledge that I am technically challenged so I knew there was an uphill struggle ahead - (no pun intended).  So I had to download the instructions from the makers website - I feel really cheated about that, my paper and my ink and my time.  I think that's so wrong, after all, everything should come with instructions don't you think ?

Before doing that, I had to 'register' my device, that took ages because my details weren't being accepted online, more phone calls to the makers with my insisting that I have entered the correct address and phone number and I do really know where I live thank you very much !

Anyway, two days later, it's working, and I nervously venture out with it installed in my car.  After I got over a fit of the giggles listening to a disembodied voice telling me my route, I set about 'testing' it on routes I know (trying to catch it out by deliberately going in the opposite direction) but it stayed calm and just redirected me.  clever clogs !

So all's well that ends well you may think - but no !

The reason I bought it in the first place was to help me negotiate islands, I'm never sure which lane to be in for the correct exit.  Well actually, it's not that simple, of course I know the procedure for entering and leaving islands I've been driving for over 40 years (you'd think I'd got it right by now wouldn't you ?)  what I should have said it's the modern hu-mungous multi lane intersections that I'm having trouble with.  This sort of thing.  Actually this island wouldn't present me with any problems, but I couldn't find a picture of one with 4 lanes !

Now this is unnerving for anyone I should think, but for me, a country girl, used to living in the back of beyond, this is hell on earth.

It seems that 'rules' don't exist on these motoring mysteries, it seems it's every man (or woman) for himself, no one seems to know what lane they should be in, everyone seems to be all over the place, forcing other drivers out of the way and narrowly escaping bumping into each other.  The idea of having a satnav was to avoid this, the nice man in the shop said 'yes, it will tell you what lane to be in; - but if your listening nice man in the shop - it doesn't !!  it only instructs on what lane to be in on motorway junctions, i.e. slip roads, which I think are clearly marked anyway.

Back to the shop and was told, it doesn't matter how much you pay for a satnav, there isn't one invented yet that tells you which lane to be in on an intersection - well thank you very much, why didn't you tell me that before I bought it ?

So I'm back to square one, feeling a little trapped in my own corner of the world, don't know how to get around this problem, any ideas ?

In the meantime, if I'm feeling a little lonely,  I'll just switch the satnav on and go a little ride around just to hear another voice.

take care peeps .............


  1. 'Islands', 'Intersections' are you sure you haven't got it set onto the 'American' choice by mistake.

    It should be saying roundabouts etc. This was what my Dad did by accident when he got his last Sat Nav, a quick scroll through the thing soon had it back on the English road system!!

    You simply follow the basic Highway Code to know which lane to be in, If you are going left the left hand one if you are going straight ahead and there is only a choice of 2 then it's the left hand one, if there is a choice of three it is the middle one etc. If you are going right at the roundabout you should be in the right hand lane.

    If you look at the road as you drive round the roundabout no matter how many lanes there are you will notice that the lane you start out in will follow the shape of the roundabout and take you off in the direction you want.

    If in doubt keep glancing at the picture on the Sat Nav and the arrow will lead you in the right direction.

    Hope this helps a bit.

    Sue xx

  2. Thanks Sue, yes it's set correctly, 'intersection' is the way I describe multi-lane 'roundabouts' not just 3/4 lane but 5/6 jobbies ! - scary !
    I know the basic rules for approaching and leaving roundabouts of course, but when I get into the right hand lane - to exit on the 5th or 6th exit, I find I can't because there are always lots of other cars on my left and I can't pull over !
    When I signal and try this manoever - the other drivers just get agitated and start pipping at me ! hence it's knocking my confidence a tad !

  3. If it's a big roundabout with lots of exits and you enter it in the right hand lane because you are going round to the right, you need to lane hop to the left as you go around, then you should find yourself in the left hand lane when you need to exit. Always indicate when you are moving to the left, always check your nearside mirror, always look over your left shoulder to make sure there is no one alongside you then edge your way across. Try that. You can't go across four lanes of traffic from the right lane to the left lane in one go, you will bound to upset other drivers if you try and cut across them.



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