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Mounting satnav on windscreen a threat to safety
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu May 12, 2016 9:37 am    Post subject: Mounting satnav on windscreen a threat to safety Reply with quote

pocketgpsworld.com
GEM Motoring Assist claims that 'thoughtless positioning' of satnav devices in windscreens is a 'huge threat' to road safety with today's ever larger screens causing a potentially lethal reduction in driver visibility.

GEM chief executive David Williams MBE said,"Sat nav devices are great for relieving a lot of motoring stress. But if in the process you’re obscuring a vast swathe of your field of view, then you are taking a huge risk."

But careful consideration when mounting the device can reduce or remove the issue completely, place it as low as possible to ensure your view of the road is unobstructed. Mounting it slap bang in the centre of the windscreen or even directly in front of your eyes (and yes I've seen this!) is patently stupid and dangerous.

GEM Motoring Assist has assembled a list of things to consider when choosing a location for your satnav, see the source link below.

Source: GEM Motoring Assist

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xpz393
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mid-windscreen positioning of devices has long been a bugbear of mine, and I'm surprised it has taken this long for a safety group to flag it.

Bottom-right-corner of the windscreen is the least obstructive place IMO
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philjs
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing the scares me about such lack of common sense is the driver concerned obviously did not find it sufficiently annoying to have their usual field of view blocked or they would not place the satnav in such positions, does this imply that they only ever look straight ahead when driving and do not scan the road for potential dangers, risks and signage in general?
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cyberhusky
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here in Luxembourg, nav systems (aka smartphones, TomTom…) are only allowed in left lower corner of the windshield on the driver side. Even little teddies on the mirror aren't allowed.
But I find it very difficult to observe the left corner and even terrible to use the navigation left-handed as I'm right handed.
Solution I put my smartphone on the right side on the dashboard.
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inthe128
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On an overnight run to Dover I was surprised by the amount of people who do this, not to mention the devices appear to still be in daylight theme and very bright, that cannot help with vision of the road ahead.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

At least a satnav serves some function when obscuring part of the view of the road, unlike "Little teddies" or "Fluffy dice", the reason for hanging those in the windscreen totally escapes my reasoning. Why?
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petrolhead276
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fascicle really, one piece of advise is

•Never fit the sat nav high up on the windscreen. As well as severely restricting vision, this could interfere with the rear view mirror and sun visors, and will require power cords to trail across the driver’s field of vision.

I have found that the best place to place a Sat Nav (Go 820) is beside the rear view mirror, as it means I can quickly check route progress as I am checking the mirror, yes the lead is a pain, but I place that at the feet of the Vehicle manufacturers who do not think that a USB port is needed in the headlining next to the interior light etc

I know of a Focus owner who has added a double USB port into the interior light cluster to power a Go-Pro camera (discreetly positioned behind the mirror) and using a short USB cable to power it.

Like any of these surveys or reports one needs to read between the lines at what is being said and to that end I read it as careless positioning.

If you know that partial field of view is blocked then one moves ones head &/or body to see around it.

This is no different to doing so with the every increasing size of the A & even B pillars in cars these days to make them safer in an accident (I work in the automotive manufacturing industry), A pillars now are 2-3 times the size of the first car I drove in the 1970's

it is about adapting to the situation and thought in the positioning.
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philjs
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

M8TJT wrote:
At least a satnav serves some function when obscuring part of the view of the road, unlike "Little teddies" or "Fluffy dice", the reason for hanging those in the windscreen totally escapes my reasoning. Why?


Let extend that to "baby on board" / "grandma's taxi" / "powered by fairy dust" etc signage in the rear windscreen, typically in a location that must interfere with use of the rear view mirror to see the outside world.
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M8TJT
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 9:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

petrolhead276 wrote:
This is no different to doing so with the every increasing size of the A & even B pillars in cars these days to make them safer in an accident (I work in the automotive manufacturing industry), A pillars now are 2-3 times the size of the first car I drove in the 1970's

it is about adapting to the situation and thought in the positioning.
Exactly, by not placing them such that they partially block your view out of the window.
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philjs
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

petrolhead276 wrote:
Fascicle really, one piece of advise is

•Never fit the sat nav high up on the windscreen. As well as severely restricting vision, this could interfere with the rear view mirror and sun visors, and will require power cords to trail across the driver’s field of vision.

I have found that the best place to place a Sat Nav (Go 820) is beside the rear view mirror, as it means I can quickly check route progress as I am checking the mirror, yes the lead is a pain, but I place that at the feet of the Vehicle manufacturers who do not think that a USB port is needed in the headlining next to the interior light etc

I know of a Focus owner who has added a double USB port into the interior light cluster to power a Go-Pro camera (discreetly positioned behind the mirror) and using a short USB cable to power it.

Like any of these surveys or reports one needs to read between the lines at what is being said and to that end I read it as careless positioning.

If you know that partial field of view is blocked then one moves ones head &/or body to see around it.

This is no different to doing so with the every increasing size of the A & even B pillars in cars these days to make them safer in an accident (I work in the automotive manufacturing industry), A pillars now are 2-3 times the size of the first car I drove in the 1970's

it is about adapting to the situation and thought in the positioning.


It's about awareness, thought and common sense which sadly I believe is lacking in a lot of drivers these days, next to rear view mirror on passenger side is probably okay as it's typically above the default line of sight for driving. My concern would be anything towards the top of a windscreen is getting closer to the head of a passenger in the accident though hopefully mitigated by pretensioners and the airbag.

Modern car equipment does not help either, typical Focus now has a large plastic box below and behind the rear view mirror to contain cameras, windscreen wiper sensor and lidar for city stop. Perhaps at least from the dash cam perspective it is time to standardise the camera technology and interface to enable third party devices such as dash cam recorders. Won't happen yet though, the average consumer is not going to pay the increased cost over the OEM camera and safety software for something potentially shareable with other devices.

I too wish the manufacturers would think about dash cam users, USB for power near the rear view mirror, and even high on the rear pillars or top of tailgate for a rear camera would be excellent. In the meanwhile it's DIY.
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sussamb
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xpz393 wrote:

Bottom-right-corner of the windscreen is the least obstructive place IMO


Only safe place in my opinion, at least in my Ford Focus. Also enables a very covert placing of the cable running under the dash and then out by the side of the A pillar.
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CA_0818123658
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A universal bracket system, with electrical charging contacts should be adopted and mounted on every cars dashboard, so the satnav can be mounted ONLY in an appropriate place, with no trailing wires.
Skoda have such a bracket, albeit only for the Garmin unit supplied with the car from new, but a universal one would be the way to go.

With many vehicle users wanting a satnav, a dashcam, and a phone charger all connected while driving, most cars do not accommodate this with enough USB or cigar lighter sockets - it's about time they woke up!
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BritBrat
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 11:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Have you ever seen a police car and what they have on the wind screen?
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Tatsfield
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 11:30 am    Post subject: Windscreen mounting of Sat Nav Reply with quote

Some cars have an athermic coating on the windscreen to limit solar radiation through the glass which also stops radio waves as well as ultra violet light. Often the manufacturer leaves an uncoated area around the rear view mirror fixing point on the screen and it is sometimes only at that point that the satellite transmissions can be received. This poses a problem for less technically minded drivers as they cannot get the device work anywhere else on the screen.

I absolutely agree that in the UK, lower right hand corner fixing of the sat nav is the only sensible place as it can be seen peripherally while driving and easily reached with the right hand, sometimes without even removing the hand from the wheel. To accomplish this and get a satellite signal, it may be necessary to use a sat nav which has an aerial extension socket and run an external aerial lead around the screen by the "A" pillar and across the top of the screen to the uncoated area around the mirror.

Of course often the placing of the mirror in the middle of the screen is down to driver stupidity and lack of any understanding of the dangers of restricted vision merely because the mirror is in the middle of the upper screen edge.
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timsim
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PostPosted: Fri May 13, 2016 12:22 pm    Post subject: Vent Mount Reply with quote

I find that a vent mount is the best place. It is easy to see but does not get in the way.
Be careful if you go to the USA. Many states do not allow windscreen mounting at all. I'm going to Utah, and it has to be mounted in a 4 x 3 inch rectangle in the bottom corner of the passenger side. I'm using something like this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/17mm-Ball-Vehicle-Car-Air-Vent-Mount-Base-for-Garmin-Nuvi-series-GPS-SatNav-/380867833498.
You can not argue with an American policeman (well, you can if you do not mind getting Tazered).
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