Remember the days when you were driving somewhere and would take out your map and spread it upside down all over the steering wheel and then curse because you couldn't figure out where the hell you were going? Well, those days are gone, right? Now we have GPS! Hurrah! That thing is so handy. Just plug in where you want to go, sit back, and listen to the instructions. "Take a left." Okay, GPS! "Continue straight ahead." Sure enough, GPS! "Drive right into the lake." Uh, 'scuse me, GPS?
Of course, your GPS doesn't exactly SAY, "Drive right into the lake." But sometimes it sends you there anyway. Let's take a look at 5 of the most hilarious GPS blunders that got drivers "lost in translation."
Last year, three women in an SUV rental kept following their GPS instructions -- even after it sent them into a lake. The device had already sent them onto a boat launch, but much like The Office's Michael Scott, who went sailing into a lake while yelling, "The machine knows!!" the girls kept on truckin' until they drove right off the edge. "I don't know why they wouldn't question driving into a puddle that doesn't seem to end," said one puzzled rescuer. Because the machine knows!
In September, a man was driving parallel to the Metro North railroad tracks when his GPS told him to "turn right." That would mean heading right onto the tracks, but common sense cannot override the GPS, my friends. When the man's car got stuck on the tracks, he abandoned it. It was then predictably hit by an oncoming train. No one was hurt, but commuters were miffed at the hours-long delay.
Then there's all those people who can't spell -- which isn't a big deal for a map. But it is a big deal when you are plugging a name into GPS. In these cases, the machine does know. Two tourists vacationing in Italy drove 400 miles off course when they typed in the northern town of Carpi instead of the southern isle of Capri. "It's hard to understand how they managed it. I mean, Capri is an island," said a baffled government official who obviously doesn't use GPS.
Lazy spelling can also be blamed for the increase of tourists in the tiny hamlet of Lourde, France (pop. 94). Tourists looking for the world famous Catholic pilgrimmage site of Lourdes routinely forget to add the "s" and end up nowhere near their destination. In fact, tourists seem to get the worst of GPS bloopers. One convoy of tourists was sent right to the edge of a canyon cliff in Utah. They at least had the sense not to drive over it, no matter what GPS might have told them to do.
Not all GPS fails make the papers. A friend recently told me that her GPS kept telling her she was "not on a road." Since the road she was on was newer than the GPS, the device was all confused. Fortunately, she knew enough to ignore GPS rather than drive into a lake.
Do you have any GPS fail stories?
Image via Dave Benson/Flickr