The Weekly Round-Up: Driven to distraction by your sat-nav? You've only yourself to blame

Plus, are you suffering from nomophobia?
Written by The Round-Up, Contributor

Plus, are you suffering from nomophobia?

The invention of the sat-nav promised to usher in a new age of calm, peaceful and easy road journeys.

No more rows when your co-pilot tells you to turn left just after you've passed the turn.

No more trying to follow a map, only to find out that the vital junction was over the page/underneath a staple/obscured by pasty crumbs.

No more going round a roundabout three times to find the right exit, and no more long and vicious rows featuring phrases like "I didn't want to visit them anyway, they're your friends and I don't even like them!"

No indeed: peace and harmony would rein as our new sat-nav friends guide us effortlessly and cheerfully to our next destination.

Or so we thought.

For it seems that our little sat-nav friends are causing almost as much hassle as our out of date road atlases did before.

According to research from comparison website Confused.com, sat-navs have caused as much as £203m worth of damage to drivers on UK roads, through accidents caused by misleading directions.

Four out of five British drivers have admitted to being "misled" by their sat-navs, and as a result half have resorted to screaming at the device. Which was, no doubt, was deeply upset by this outbreak of anthropomorphic rage.

Seven out of ten drivers report the sat-nav lead them astray, tricking them into clocking up unnecessary miles, and one in three blamed the sat-nav for accidents - spending between £100 - £500 on sat nav related car damage.

That's right, officer, the sat-nav made me do it.

According to the research, men are more likely to blame their car damage on their miniature guide, while women are more likely to admit that it leads them astray. And 57 per cent of female drivers admitted to screaming at their sat-nav, compared to 45 per cent of men.

On a national scale, drivers in the east Midlands fared the worst in their sat-nav relationship, with 57 per cent shouting at the poor little device, while Northern Ireland, according to the research, has the calmest drivers - with only 31 per cent getting angry at misleading directions.

The Round-Up is never a big fan of blaming the technology when the problem is really in ourselves. For it seems that when most people switch on the sat-nav and put the car in gear, they put their brains in neutral.

From a gadget we apparently can't live with, to one we absolutely can't live without: mobile phones. In fact, do you love your phone so much that you suffering from nomophobia?

No, not gnomophobia, which is something entirely different: nomophobia is a fear of being out of mobile phone contact, and you're probably a sufferer.

In a survey of 1,000 people, two thirds of respondents said they feared losing or being without their mobile phone. Four out of ten - in an effort to stay connected - claimed to have two phones or more.

More women worry about losing their phones than men - seven out of ten of the women surveyed compared to 61 per cent of the men, although it is men that are more likely to have two phones.

The most concerned about being out of contact are - inevitably - young people, for whom it seems any human interaction is impossible unless it includes cameraphone pics posted on Facebook with captions like 'I haz megalolz'.

Three quarters of the 18 to 24 age group felt the pain of being separated from their mobile, as did 68 per cent of the 25 to 34s, according to the SecurEnvoy survey.

As the average phone owner (which is pretty much everyone these days) checks their phone 34 times a day, it won't take anyone very long to realise that theirs has gone missing.

And finally - a couple of stories worth checking out if you're running short of things to do on a Friday afternoon, courtesy of our friends at TechRepublic. Find out how a $25 computer could spark a computing revolution, and how Drupal went from a dorm room tech project became a global phenomenon

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