As you will see in today’s post, even with the best instructions, humans can still manage to screw up at times. GPS, or Global Positioning System, is supposed to be a helpful tool to assist you in getting from A to B, but some people get too comfortable with it. Please make sure you are focused on the road when you’re behind the wheel!
Make sure you and your drivers are focused on the road when behind the wheel! While I hope you never have an experience similar to these, with iStrada, tracking the history of your Drivers’ routes is possible to ensure safe travel or to help with an investigation conducted to find out more about an incident.
The US launched its first GPS satellite 32 years ago. The directionally-impaired rejoiced, and the technology is now embedded into just about every electronic device we own. A good percentage of cars on the road today have navigation systems, and I’m sure just about everyone else has a phone to rely on should they need it.
GPS navigation technology is undeniably necessary in the modern world, but they have also been responsible for some spectacular failures over the last few years. Here are some of the worst:
German motorist, 80, ignored warning signs and drove into a sand pile off the highway near Hamburg in October 2006. What’s the reason, you ask? This was what his GPS said to do.
“The driver was following the orders from his navigation system and even though there were a sufficient number of warnings and barricades, he continued his journey into the construction site,” a police spokeswoman said. “His trip finally ended when he wound up crashing into a pile of sand,” she added.
Look, we get it. It can be really difficult to drive in a foreign country. Sometimes you’re on the wrong side of the road, maybe it’s a bad rental, and more than likely you have no idea where you’re going… plenty of reasons.
While these Japanese tourists were heading down a road toward Australia’s North Stradbroke Island in March 2012, however, they must have seen the Pacific Ocean looming ahead.
“It told us we could drive down there,” Yuzu Noda, 21, told the Bayside Bulletin. “It kept saying it would navigate us to a road. We got stuck… there’s lots of mud.”
They made it 50 yards offshore before realizing they were stranded. After they waited for a while, a tow truck driver came to the rescue and extended a lift to the mainland.
A group of travelers in Utah came dangerously close to falling off a cliff to their deaths thanks to a GPS error. In 2008, a group of friends planned what was expected to be a scenic drive from Bryce Canyon, Utah, to the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
But on one dark night, they almost perished when a GPS system led them to the edge of a very steep cliff. The group managed to stop just before plunging over.
All night long, the 25 travelers were trapped in the wilderness before being rescued the following morning.
Drinking and GPS are not always a good combination. Satlegh Mohammadi drove nearly 20 feet down a railroad track in Goole, East Yorkshire, in 2009 after telling police his GPS had directed him there. Rail workers spotted his Ford Fiesta careening down the tracks and called the police.
He was just under the legal limit for drunk driving when he made that mistake, according to police. Yet, he was fined and banned from driving for 20 months as well as ordered to do community service for a year.
According to the driver, he thought he would be able to drive straight to the entrance, but ended up taking himself, the limo, and his boss down a steep flight of steps instead. Nobody was injured, but apparently the chauffeur now has a new career in air traffic control. Nothing comforting about that…
Here’s proof spelling and punctuation matter. While trying to relax on the golden beaches of the Italian island of Capri, a GPS error sent a Swedish couple nearly 400 miles off course. Instead of Capri, the pair found themselves in the town of Carpi — an industrial city in northern Italy. They only discovered their error after asking locals how to get to the island’s famous “Blue Grotto.”
“It’s hard to understand how they managed it. I mean, Capri is an island,” said Giovanni Medici, a spokesman for the Carpi regional government. “It’s the first time something like this has happened.”
However, it will probably not be the last.
When Robert Ziegler’s GPS told him to turn onto what he thought was a hiking trail in Bergun, Switzerland, he took it at its word. As it turned out, there was in fact a trail… For goats.
“I kept hoping each little turn would get me back to the main road,” Ziegler said. “In the end, it told me to turn around but, of course, I couldn’t by then.”
Ziegler and his van were actually lifted off of the peak to safety by helicopter.
“He says he didn’t see any footpath signs but he must be a fair driver to get that far up a glorified goat track,” a fire service spokesman said.
As you can see here, the actual roads in Bergun aren’t much wider:
In another Swiss folly, a German truck driver transporting cargo in the town of Sempach found himself up a tree — literally. The 37-year-old man barreled past several “No Entry” signs onto a pedestrian walkway and smashed into a cherry tree. He tried to back out, but took out several lamp posts and damaged the tree further in the process.
Area workers eventually had to use chainsaws to free the vehicle and get it back on the road. It may sound funny, but the driver probably wasn’t laughing. He was fined $540.