DHL Driver Convicted After Train Crash

21 year old DHL van driver Graham Foster was recently convicted of endagering the safety of train passengers following a collision with a train on an unmanned level crossing.

Most newspaper reports have picked up on the driver blindly following his satnav’s instructions and ignoring warning signs but other reports make the situation clearer.

“The DHL delivery driver had started work at 7.30am that morning. It had been a long day for him and he had only made 85 drops out of 120 he had to complete by the time of the accident.

“It was a strange area to him and he was under a great deal of pressure to get the delivery out first and foremost.

“This is a 21-year-old man who was under significant pressure from his employers.

“He was panicked and fairly stressed and at the time of the accident still had 35 packages to deliver.”

The accident happened at 1735 – the driver had already been working for over 10 hours and had done 85 drops out 120 in a rural area of Northumberland that he was unfamiliar with. His satnav Read More…

Posted under Drivers' Hours, SatNav

Posted by Alec at 10:45 am, July 23, 2008

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The dangers of Satnav – could the new TomTom GO 930 with IQ Routes be the answer?

A week or so ago I read the PC Pro review of the new TomTom GO 930 satnav with IQ Routes™ technology (is there a TomTom equivalent of the annoying Intel sound that has to be played every time that phrase is read out?). If satnavs are your thing then it looks an impressive piece of kit.

One particular paragraph of the review stopped me in my tracks and made me think about the general problems people have had with satnavs since their introduction – namely satnavs sending drivers down unsuitable roads:

According to PC Pro, “The most significant upgrade to the new range is TomTom’s new route-finding ability – dubbed IQ Routes. What this means is that the 930T, along with the rest of the new “x30” range, calculates routes not using the speed limit data alone, but also by taking into account the average speed of real-world traffic on those roads.”

Just pause for a moment to let that sink in – not the fact that IQ Routes™ (cue the jingle again) calculates routes based on the average time taken to travel those routes but that TomToms in the past have calculated the fastest route based on the speed limit of the road.

Even my first copy of Autoroute had options to set different driving speeds for different types of roads – rural A roads, urban B roads, urban motorways etc. It beggars belief that up to now TomTom have been basing their route calculations on speed limits.

Think about it – is it generally possible to make better time on an Read More…

Posted under Courier Basics, SatNav

Posted by Alec at 4:25 pm, July 14, 2008

Get lost – with a satnav

The recent rise in popularity of the use of satnavs by same day couriers may actually be slowing down deliveries and causing couriers to drive more miles than necessary, if the results a recent experiment conducted by Reader’s Digest magazine is to be believed.

According to a report in The Scotsman, the navigational experiment took the form of a ‘race’ over a 989 mile route between three teams of drivers.

The race was won by a team of men relying on reading road signs and asking directions. In second place was a team of women relying on their map-reading skills and the car relying on satnav finished over an hour and a half later.

So apparently men can ask for directions, women can read maps and satnavs don’t always find the most appropriate routes.

The report goes on to quote Luke Bosdet from the AA: “Unfortunately, many drivers become slaves to their satnavs – turning sharp right on to railway lines, rivers and, in one instance, a toilet on a German building site.”

Sarah Sands from the organisers of the experiment, Reader’s Digest, is quoted as saying “It goes to show that when you’re trying to find remote locations in the Lake District or navigate busy city centres, you’re better off relying on the people who live there, rather than a line on a piece of paper or a computer.”

I’d suggest that the outcome of this experiment Read More…

Posted under Courier Basics, SatNav

Posted by Alec at 10:36 am, July 12, 2008