GPS Does NOT Know All


You may think, yeah I know that, it sends me to the wrong place all too often.  However, we’re still following it to the wrong place.   But, have you thought about GPS causing an accident?  Probably not.  If you Google “GPS causing car accidents” you’ll find a list of sites outlining and reporting on GPS-related auto accidents.

Last month Apple Maps caused drivers to cross an Alaskan airport runway used by 737 jets.  The airport has since put up barricades to prevent this from happening again.  And, we’re pretty sure Apple is solving that specific error – it’s kind of a big one.  But this leads to the question: How did these people ignore the warning signs and actually drive on the runway?  Did they not realize that it was a runway for jets, not a street for cars?  Obviously not, and thankfully no one was hurt, but there is a lesson here.

In reality drivers are constantly blindly following the instructions dished out by their GPS system.  We simply are way to confident in the devices accuracy – even though I bet anyone who uses one has landed at the wrong destination more than once.  We’re already distracted enough – we can’t stop talking about the need to avoid texting while driving – and yet the GPS, meant to make our drive easier can be another distraction if we rely on it too much.  The National Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 25 to 30 percent of all auto accidents are caused by distractions.

Now we need to add GPS to the list of distractions to be aware of (along with changing the channel, spilling our morning coffee, dropping something on the floor, our smart phone, etc.).  And that really is the key, be aware and alert.  Pay attention to your surroundings and to road signs.  GPS cannot replace common sense.

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