New research released by the RAC has revealed that half of young drivers are unable to read a map. Whilst 84% of drivers claim to have good map reading skills, research from RAC Direct Insurance has revealed that actual number of skilled map readers to be far lower.

Amongst the findings was the discovery that 65% of drivers aged between 18 and 35 did not know than “A” roads are marked in red on standard road maps, and 29% of under 35 year old drivers believed the M40 to be the River Avon when reading a map.

The results reveal the growing trend amongst drivers to use digital technology rather than a traditional road map. 20% of under 35 year olds surveyed admitted to never having even used a road map, whilst 26% of them don’t even have one in their vehicle.

Yet half of motorists depend on online route planners, amongst under 35’s the figure rises to 61%, whilst 26% of that group now rely on satellite navigation to plan their route.

Older drivers appeared to be the most proficient at map reading, with 56% of 55 to 64 year old drivers passing the RAC Direct Insurance Map test survey.

The research was carried out amongst 1,000 male and female drivers in the period 14th to 18th September 2006.