UK motorists can't read road maps

New research suggests 11million motorists cannot read a basic road map. Over a third of motorists polled struggled to read a four-figure grid reference and a 83% couldn’t identify the map symbol for a motorway.

More than a thousand UK drivers were tested by esure to see if their map-reading skills have been affected by new technology such as sat-nav. An estimated one in six UK drivers no longer keep a map in their car, with the majority (63%) said their map was out of date maps in the car.

Around 8% admit they could not live without their satnav systems and 63% of those questioned (21 million motorists) admitted they would be well and truly lost without their satellite navigation (satnav) system. Despite this up to 36 billion wasted miles (260 miles per motorist) are driven by lost motorists each year – with 50 per cent of motorists claiming that their satnav system drives them mad at least once a month.

Scott Sinclair from Ordnance Survey said: “It’s time for motorists to take a refresher in map reading skills. Technology is great but the batteries won’t run out on a paper map. No serious hill walker would rely totally on a GPS device in case the power goes or the signal is lost, so it should be the same for the motorist. Many people still enjoy maps and they can really help you build up a sense of the world around you".