Following Your GPS Over A Cliff Is No Excuse For Bad Driving

from the in-case-you-were-wondering... dept

Verve alerts us to the news that one of the many drivers who have been chronicled following their GPS over their own common sense has discovered that “following my GPS” is not an acceptable defense in court. In this case, the guy followed the GPS’s commands down a “narrow cliffside path” until the car got stuck against a fence, overlooking a sharp drop. He’s now been convicted of “driving without due care and attention.” The prosecutor wasn’t exactly kind, but apparently the following was convincing to the judges:

The path was not designed for motor vehicles yet Mr Jones slavishly continued to follow the satnav system to the point where his eyes and his brain must have been telling him otherwise to such a degree he was not exercising proper control of the vehicle

For his part, the guy admitted he was an “idiot,” but said he was just following instructions:

I might have been an idiot for taking the wrong road or carrying on but I have not driven without due care or attention.

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Comments on “Following Your GPS Over A Cliff Is No Excuse For Bad Driving”

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iNtrigued (profile) says:

That's too bad.

If only it had been a really really high cliff… I sure hope he doesn’t reproduce. Although, I do have some beach front property I’d like to sell him if he is interested. The funny thing is he would probably buy it if his GPS told him it was the right move. Some people get so dependent on technology that they just switch off their own brain. Well news flash, computers are only as useful & intelligent as their users.

Ima Fish (profile) says:

I used to make fun of these people, but it happened to me. I was leaving Chicago back to Michigan. I got off the toll expressway to get some gas.

When I was done, the GPS had me get back on the expressway to go back to Chicago. I realized it was odd, but despite the evidence in front of me, I also assumed the GPS was correct. That I needed to back-track in some way to get back on the toll road. It was wrong and I was an idiot. Well, most people already know about the latter.

Sneeje (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I had a similar experience in Germany where we tried a detour off of the Autobahn and the GPS took us to less and less civilized roads and then finally tried to convince us to drive through a field and use a tractor tunnel to get to the other side of the Autobahn.

We were doing something similar to you–actively questioning the GPS directions, but willing to let it take us a little further in the hopes that it would work itself out. Especially since we otherwise knew nothing about the local roads.

However, I think (I hope) the difference is that most folks would keep a very clear understanding of the possible negative consequences of continuing and weighing that against the use of the GPS. For example, once the trade-off (GPS or our control) involved possible damage to us or the vehicle we bailed. There was a small cost to our time, but no other consequence.

I would hope that if I was driving mountain roads, I’d be very skeptical of odd directions.

hegemon13 says:

Re: Re:

Taking the wrong road is one thing, and that is understandable. It was a mistake in a area with which you were not thoroughly familiar. No big deal.

This guy did not do that. He drove where there was not even a road. Or how about the guy that drove down the train tracks because his GPS told him to? There is a big difference between taking a wrong turn and driving where a vehicle is CLEARLY not meant to go. Despite your mistake, you are still free to laugh at these idiots.

Almost Anonymous (profile) says:

Re: gps vs. common sense

A. The guy is not trying to sue the GPS company (although I wouldn’t put it past someone to try it soon).

B. I am so sick of FUD about that McDonalds case. Even basic investigation will show you that the manager of that franchise was clearly and willfully negligent, and all the lady orignally asked for was her medical bills paid.

p.s. Guess what? Just putting the words “Beverage in container may be very hot.” does not relieve you of responsibility if the beverage in the container is very VERY (in fact illegally) hot and then spills and burns someone. So that whole backlash response was idiotic.

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