Positioning your Sat-Nav unit

Queensland's Transport Operations (Road Use Management - Road Rules) Regulation 2009 states that:  A driver must not drive a motor vehicle unless the driver has a clear view of the road, and traffic ahead, behind and to each side of the driver. 

But it’s truly amazing how many drivers place sat-nav units in the centre of the windscreen with no thought to the effect they have on their view of the road. Motorists can be fined for having items, including sat-nav units, mounted in a way that obstructs the driver’s field of view. 

The installation instructions provided with many units are quite vague when it comes to acceptable locations, and quite simply, as vehicle and sat-nav design varies considerably, as does the driver’s height and seating position, it’s not possible to nominate a location that will be acceptable to every vehicle.

Choosing a suitable position

Ultimately it will be up to the driver to determine correct placement.  Here are a few points to consider in selecting a position.
  • If fitted to the windscreen, it should be low down to minimise the intrusion into the driver’s field of view
  • Consider placing it in the lower right corner of the windscreen to minimise obstruction to the driver’s vision
  • Alternatively, if this is not possible, it may be acceptable to place the unit low down in the centre of the windscreen, providing the design of the sat-nav mounting and the vehicle and your seating position permits this
  • Do not locate units where they may cause injury in a crash. This includes potential head strike zones or on the windscreen or other location where a deploying airbag may contact them. Where a passenger airbag is fitted, this includes anywhere to the left of centre of the windscreen
  • High up on the windscreen should be avoided as this will often interfere with rear view mirrors and sun visors and result in the power cord trailing across the driver’s vision area
  • Consider the location of power leads to avoid the possibility of them interfering with or becoming entangled in vehicle controls 
  • Avoid covering or restricting access to dash instruments and controls as far as possible.

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