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10 Times GPS Failed With Terrible Consequences


It’s no secret that society has become heavily reliant on technology, using GPS to navigate our way is no exception. While not only convenient, I’m sure all of us can appreciate the decline in heated arguments over U-turns and whether or not this route was the shortest. GPS has without a doubt simplified our lives, still the question lingers, is too much of a good thing make it a bad thing? Let’s take a dive into what occurs when GPS leads to absolute disaster.

Japanese Tourist Joyride Gone Wrong!

In 2012, a group of three Japanese tourists set off on an Australian adventure. They intended to drive from Australia’s mainland to the island of North Stradbroke. Unfortunately their GPS forgot to mention the 9 mile wide expansion of water that sat between them and the island itself.

Source: Christ McCormack/ The Redland Times

Their drive seemed to be fairly uneventful until the gravel road they had been traveling on turned into thick mud. Undeterred, they continued on, trusting the GPS would lead them back to solid ground. The group’s optimism quickly sank when they found themselves sitting in a car that was up to its axles in mud. It wasn’t long before the situation went from bad to worse! As they sat and watched as the tide rose and the car became submerged in water.

Elderly Woman’s Unexpected Detour

Sabine Moreau, a 67-year-old Belgian woman, was reported missing by her son in January 2013. Only for her to resurface two days later, a staggering 901 miles away in Zagreb, Croatia.

Source: Daily Mail UK

Originally Moreau had planned to drive just 38 miles to Brussels to pick up her friend, unbeknownst to her she was about to embark on an extensive detour guided by her GPS. Thanks to her GPS Moreau was forced to refuel her vehicle twice, wound up in a minor traffic accident, and left her no choice but to pull over and spend the night in her car.

Swedish Duo In A Capri Conundrum

In 2009, a Swedish couple embarked on the romantic vacation of their dreams. Their plan was to explore the beautiful island of Capri, Italy. Their GPS had steered them completely in the wrong direction, landing them in the industrial town of Capri, Modena, Emilia-Romagna.

Source: Pinterest

The couple’s excitement quickly turned to angst after speaking with a local tourist office. It may not have been the romantic getaway they had planned, but an adventure nonetheless.

Canada Or Busted

From New York to Pennsylvania, well that’s the route a young man intended to take anyway. His GPS however had other plans. Unbeknownst to him he was being led in the complete opposite direction, in fact he was being navigated across the Canadian border.

Source: Bing Hui Yau/ Unsplash

Unfortunately because the young man wasn’t planning a trip out of the country he was unable to provide proper documentation to the Canadian customs officers. He was ultimately deported based on the premise that he was an illegal alien and eventually he was turned over to the U.S. Marshals.

When A Staircase Becomes The New Highway

If only this was a one time occurrence, apparently it has become commonplace for the drivers of Turuel SpainDrivers in Turuel, Spain, to drive their cars down the town’s stairs! Their excuse being a defective navigation system, nevermind situational awareness.

Source: driving

Not one but five incidents have been reported of vehicles carelessly driving down and getting stuck on the staircase. Only thing worse than a GPS fail is a recurrent GPS fail.

What Warning Signs?

Not all GPS is created equal, some warn of road construction while others don’t. Regardless you would think our own discernment would supersede such things, but apparently that isn’t always the case. This motorist was so obedient that he repeatedly drove straight through “closed for construction” sign after sign.

Source: The West Australian

An 80 year-old German man refused to heed the warning signs, rather he just drove straight through, in fact he drove through four of them before being forced to stop after crashing into a sand pit. Him and his passenger managed to leave the site unscathed.

When GPS Leads You Down A Bike Trail

In the wee hours of the night a man drove his car down a bike path after blindly following the advice of his GPS. He continued down the path until local onlookers took it upon themselves to call the police. After multiple calls informing them of what was going on, the police finally sent an officer to pull him over.

Source: Scorchedearth

It’s still a mystery as to what the man was thinking after he entered the ever shrinking highway. Perhaps his unwavering trust in his technology car companion overruled his common sense?

Trio Drives Into Lake, GPS Fail!

After strictly following the guidance of their GPS, three young women suddenly found themselves in a watery predicament. Their Mercedes-Benz SUV rental submerged in the Mercer Slough in Bellevue, Washington, all thanks to their GPS’s unwavering guidance.

Source: Seattletimes

The driver steadily following her GPS assumed she was still on the road, when she had actually steered down a boat launch and would soon find herself and her car companions in a vehicle swiftly being swallowed by the water of the lake. The three women managed to escape the car unscathed, the vehicle however wasn,t so lucky, it would have to be extracted by a tow truck later that evening.

Major GPS Fail! Woman Drives Car Down Train Track

I suppose it doesn’t take much convincing for people these days, if GPS says go right, we listen! It’s hard to understand how anyone would ignore what is directly in front of them, but so many people follow the directions given without question.

Source: Transit police

This is no different for this mother of two from Boston. With her kids in tow she eagerly complied when her robotic friend said “turn right”, putting her directly onto the train tracks! When it became apparent that she wasn’t going to be able to turn off the tracks she chose to abandon the car. Thankfully she did because later that evening her vehicle was struck by a train.

Back Road GPS Mishap

When this elderly couple set out on their leisurely journey to an RV rally in Oregon the last thing they expected was to get lost amongst the wilderness, but that’s exactly what happened. As they trekked on their voyage, following the guidance of their handy dandy GPS.

Source: KTLA-TV

Their navigation system had turned them down a logging road, despite the warning signs of fallen trees and thick mud they trudged onward. Eventually their RV got stuck and they spent two long nights amongst the wilderness until they finally called for help.

It appears sensible to acknowledge that while technology offers convenience, heavily depending on it for navigation might not be the most safest choice. Perhaps it’s time to reintroduce the Thomas Guide, so less find themselves the lead role in a tale of GPS mishaps.

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Athena Hallet

Written by Athena Hallet

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