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Tom Tom or Dumb Dumb? When Sat Navs Go Wrong

Tom Tom or Dumb Dumb? When Sat Navs Go Wrong

Some thought that sat navs would do away with using maps whilst driving. However it is now becoming apparent that it is perhaps some of the drivers who use sat navs that we should be getting rid of.
Here are a few examples where perhaps using a map would have been safer.

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 It’s all praise for the satnav – the satellite navigation system for vehicles that will always direct you to find the quickest route to your destination.  No more having a screaming row in the middle of nowhere, and throwing the maps at each other.

That’s what most people think when they buy their first system.

Whether it is Tom Tom or any another make, how reassuring and confident that male or female voice sounds directing you towards your chosen destination. Of course because it is modern technology; it is like the Archangel “Computer” guiding you home.  

It must be omnipotent and can never be wrong…

…that is until the first time it tells you, with all its authority that you must turn the wrong way into a busy “One-Way” street.

The blaring horns of the other drivers are not there to praise your choice of having Satnav the Angel travelling with you. That is probably when the first seeds of doubt about the omnipotence of the satnav may creep in, and in trusting the system you may have been “dumb dumb”.

Perhaps we should not be too hard on the system producers who appear to have tried to update them to take account of all possibility of mapping errors and road system quirks. Perhaps the problems lie more with the users.

Here are the tales of some drivers who took the words of the satnav as gospel, when they should have remembered one of the satnav’s own favourite phrases:

 “Turn around when possible”!

£96,000 Mercedes written off.

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 This driver, on her way to a christening, was rescued from a swollen river and watched in horror as her Mercedes SL500 sports car was washed away

Ignoring the signs that said “unsuitable for motor vehicles” she followed the rough farm track, near the village of Sheepy Magna, until she came to a ford at the River Sense

Even though the waters were swift flowing and flooded due to heavy rainfall, her satnav ruled the roost and she obeyed its commands and continued, regardless of what good sense told her. Alice Clark, a 24-year-old stables owner, who rescued her, said:
“She was screaming “Help me, help me” as she struggled to get the door open. Just as I reached her the electrics went, causing the windows to open and even more water started gushing in. I desperately hauled her through the window into the river. Seconds later, the car became completely submerged as it filled with water.”
Miss Clark’s boyfriend then took the woman, who gave her name only as Hayley, to a motorway service station where a chauffeur-driven Bentley collected her.

The car, which had bumped from bank to bank 600m downstream, was trapped for a week before being hauled out and declared a right-off.

The water did not look deep – it only came halfway up the ducks!

It would appear that some drivers will follow their satnav no matter what road warning signs say.
From This is Cirencester
Drivers in Luckington have been getting that sinking feeling after trying to find a detour around a road closure in Sherston.
Satellite navigation systems and misleading signs have been blamed after dozens of motorists tried to drive through a ford at Brookend in Luckington only to get stuck in up to three feet of water.
The misleading depth gauge is causing havoc for drivers especially after heavy rain even though another sign by the ford says it is not suitable for motor vehicles.
Tom Lucarotti, 30, of Stroud Landscaping and Fencing, was one of the recent victims of the confusion, as he disovered to his cost.
“It was the first time I had tried to cross the ford, and I ended up having to call out the AA,” he told the Standard.
“The depth of the water was actually nearer three feet, I later discovered. It cost me at least £600-£700, because I had to buy another van, and take out the engine to replace the one in my vehicle.”
After the incident, Mr Lucarotti returned to the scene only to find someone else in trouble and then give them a tow out of the ford.

Enterprising farmers have been towing out stricken vehicles at £25 a time. 

One local resident has been helping stranded drivers to dry out.  The lady said: ‘The other day my husband came home and I had to explain why there was a van driver’s trousers in our tumble dryer. He was sitting in his cab, shivering in his boxer shorts.’ (guy-sports.com)

I was only 1600 miles wrong

Syrian truck driver Necdet Bakimci was travelling from Turkey with an intended destination of Gibraltar, a journey which should have taken him through Southern Spain and to the coast of the Mediterranean. Instead his satnav took him to Gibraltar Point, an area overlooking the seaside resort of Skegness, on the North Sea coast of England.

The Sun
It took him almost an hour to turn around his truck of prestige cars. Twitcher Steven Humphreys, 57, of Burgh le Marsh, Lincs, said: “He showed me his delivery docket.
“I had my laptop and found the place on Gibraltar. Amazingly, the guy didn’t seem too upset.”
The confusion came about because the Rock of Gibraltar is considered part of the UK – and sat-nav systems would list it as such.
Necdet, working for a firm in Antakya, Turkey, near the Syrian border, was last night heading home after unloading the cars near Birmingham for onward shipping.

What’s a 100ft drop to a BMW?

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Heading to a friend’s house, Robert Jones put his life in his hands when he religiously followed his satnav to the edge of a 30 meter drop.
Even though the steep rocky path became almost impossible, Robert said “I just trusted the satnav.
“It kept insisting that the path was a road even as it was getting narrower and steeper.
“I rely on my satnav, I couldn’t do without it for my job. I guess I’m lucky the car didn’t slip all the way over the edge. But it has been a bit of a nightmare.”
Apparently it took around nine hours to recover the car and police are looking into the possibility of charging him with careless driving, according to the Mirror


What’s the name of the taxi firm?

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This taxi driver, on his way to pick up a fare, managed to drive 200 yards up the River Nar in Norfolk before his eight-seater minibus ground to a halt in the mud of the river bed. To cut a long story short – the satnav said drive up the river, so he did! According to reports the driver appears to want to remain nameless. According to his employers he did not remain nameless in the joke texts that were being sent around the taxi ranks the following day by other cab drivers.

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17 Responses and Counting...

  1. Patrick Bernauw

    November 14, 2009

    A very Jordanesk article, Chris!… Great idea & concept, fun title, good read, and nice pictures!

  2. Debra Bell

    November 14, 2009

    Good article and great pics.

  3. Hermitbiker

    November 14, 2009

    LOL…. satellite navigation…. a great tool…. but “common sense” should make the final decision…. no matter what the “little box” tells you !! Oh, that’s right, common sense lays as a “dormant” part of the brain…. in the 21st century !! :)

  4. Lasan

    November 14, 2009

    LOL – it happens so many times, always trust to road signs!

  5. Christine Ramsay

    November 14, 2009

    I shouldn’t laugh but these stories are funny. My hubby will not invest in a sat nav. He would rather trust my erratic navigation. I usually tell him to follow the white van. Amazingly we normally get to our deatination without too many problems. By the way I come from Lancashire too. A great write.


  6. clay Hurtubise

    November 14, 2009

    lol, I love it. But then again, I’m guilty as charged. I was using printed maps from Map Quest when a police officer pulled me over. He leans in my window and asked, “Map Quest, huh?” “Yes, how did you know?” “You didn’t see that large ‘no left turn’ sign back there, did you?” “No, I was following the directions from Map Quest” He let me go with a warning!

  7. Chris Stonecipher

    November 14, 2009

    When I use a nav sat, I usually leave it on the floor. The volume may be up but I am looking and paying attention to the road signs. I find that having it hang in the mirror is too distracting.

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    November 14, 2009

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