Do I have to draw a map for you?

London Thu Aug 9, 2007 5:34pm EDT

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London (Reuters) - As many as 11 million British motorists are unable to read a basic road map, according to a survey released Monday.

The poll revealed over three quarters of British drivers were unable to identify the motorway map symbol, while only one percent of motorists would pass the Cub Scout Map Reader badge test.

"It's pretty embarrassing the majority of Cub Scouts have better map-reading skills than the majority of the adult population," said Colin Batabyal, head of underwriting and business development at eSure, which carried out the survey.

Sixteen percent of British drivers have become so heavily reliant on satellite navigation systems that they have given up keeping a map in their car.

"It's time for motorists to take a refresher in map-reading skills," said Scott Sinclair of national mapping agency Ordnance Survey. "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," added Sinclair.

The survey -- based on a poll of 1,000 UK drivers -- estimated Britons' poor map-reading skills resulted in 36 billion wasted miles being driven each year.

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