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5 mistakes blamed on GPS

By Celeste Tholen Rosenlof | Posted - May 9th, 2013 @ 10:07am

SALT LAKE CITY — GPS, it turns out, isn't always right. And sometimes, people realize that just a moment too late.

Below, we've compiled a chronological list of five mistakes blamed on the handy devices.

Take the stairs

Just last week, a driver in New York turned down a paved footpath in a Manhattan park when his GPS told him to turn onto it. Only once he drove his car down a couple steps did he realize something was wrong.

"The driver explained to me that he was trying to get to a hotel in New Jersey and was just following his GPS," wrote Ray Jacobs on West Side Rag. "The car, with Rhode Island plates, could not back up because it is front wheel drive and the front wheels were in the air."

Apple Maps fail

Who can forget the plethora of problems with Apple Maps? When Apple updated its navigation app last fall using map data bought from TomTom, the flawed directions left many drivers confused as to what to do next.


The errors ranged from freeway entrances that don't exist, to directions to an airport that could get the driver arrested for trespassing onto the tarmac.

Led into a swamp

Three women in a rented Mercedes SUV were disoriented and lost when the driver drove the car into Mercer Slough outside of Seattle.

Just after midnight one morning in June 2011, following her "Never Lost" GPS, a woman drove down a boat launch into the slough.

"(There are) sitcom parodies of something like this, and to actually see it is surprising," Bellevue Fire Dept. Lt. Eric Keenan told KOMO News. "I don't know why they wouldn't question driving into a puddle that doesn't seem to end."

Jump off a cliff

In 2009, a GPS system nearly led a businessman off a cliff in West Yorkshire, England. Driver Robert Jones followed the directions the navigation system gave him carefully along a steep, narrow "road." He ditched the directions once he bumped into a wire fence — the only thing between his car and the edge of a cliff.

Consider the height difference

In Seattle, a charter bus carrying a high school girls softball team wedged itself between a rock and a hard place.

The bus driver, using his navigation system, proceeded to drive the 12-foot tall bus under a bridge that was only 9 feet tall. Twenty-one players and a coach were injured, but were treated and released shortly after, Seattle PI reported.

What about you? Have you let a GPS lead you somewhere you didn't want to be? Tell us in the comments.

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