Please Note: Your GPS System Doesn't Know The Depth Of The Flooded Road

from the when-machines-take-over dept

We’ve talked in the past about how when you have a computer aid you in a decision making process the tendency sometimes is to begin to trust the computer over your own common sense. Still, you would think there are some limits. Earlier this month, lots of folks were talking about a story in the UK where a car navigation system was leading people to the edge of a cliff — though, no one had yet driven over the edge (a few did get stuck). However, Engadget now points to an even more extreme example (also in the UK), where people are so trusting of their GPS system that they’re driving right into extremely deep water, on a road that’s been closed due to flooding. There are warning signs about the road being closed, and the water itself looks pretty obvious. However, there are apparently one or two drivers per day who are so trusting of their GPS system that they try to drive right on through — only to have to be rescued. In some ways this might not be that surprising. Drivers often don’t do a very good job estimating the depth of water hazards — and often feel they can drive right on through. On top of that, if you’re in an area where you’re unfamiliar with the roads, it can be unnerving, so some people may feel they have to trust their GPS system (forgetting that most will recalculate a path if the road you want is no good). Still, though, you would think that the signs announcing the road as being closed, and the amount of water present, would be a tip off that something was problematic.

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Comments on “Please Note: Your GPS System Doesn't Know The Depth Of The Flooded Road”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Quick CNN, do a study on the dangers of using GPS while driving! How bout GPS and Cellphones… AT THE SAME TIME… DOUBLEWHAMMY!

And while we`re talking about cars driving off of cliffs and into dams: why the hell are we still driving around in cars powered by fossil fuels? Where the hell is my floating car? Goddamnit, every futuristic show in the 80`s predicted I´d be cruising in my very own flying automobile with optional timetravel by 2001.

Peter Griffen says:

I once hit a TV satellite dish…..I didnt have GPS which goes to prove people are stupid…..

New policy…you do something stupid and get into deep s**t…in this case, water, YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN! It’s population control. Take the damn warnings down…make people actually use their brains instead on relying on society to make all their decisions for them (which they arent allowed to do that either because it’s against the ‘basic american rights’).

Oldbear says:

Re: Re:

AYE!!! I lived four houses from a bus trap(big hole in the road to stop cars, but let buses through) – At least once a week we would hear the big thud of a car landing in the trap. A 3ft X 4ft sign that warned of the hole, a big picture of a car in a hole, and of course the gaint-gapping-hole – still the drivers would try to get through. Then the knock on the door for a rope or help (would have called the parking police by then).

It al just proves that the majority of people are just to stupid to live – only all the safety devices and rules are keeping them around.

Agonizing Fury says:

Yes it does!

My GPS will tell me the elevation of the land under the water as well as my current elevation at the edge of the water (pretty close to the level of the water) so I knew last time I came upon a flooded road that the road was actually 15 feet above the water (although I couldn’t see it) so of course I cold make it through….

Stupid GPS

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