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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    iNtrigued (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 8:02am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    PopeHilarius (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 8:35am

    When questioned about its actions, the GPS system admitted it provided bad directions "for the lulz"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    icon
    R. Miles (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 8:38am

    Re: That's too bad.

    Well news flash, computers are only as useful & intelligent as their users.
    Uh oh.
    Enstein's quote about human stupidity just entered my mind.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    Ima Fish (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 8:48am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    iNtrigued (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 8:54am

    Re: Re: That's too bad.

    Ah yes, the famous, "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the the universe."

    That is practically my motto.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    iNtrigued (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 8:58am

    Re:

    Well that sucks... but this is relevant how?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    icon
    scarr (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 9:11am

    Carmageddon!

    (Someone might get that.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    HolaJohnny (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 9:24am

    The day of spam!

    Likes like we are the lucky winners of spam comments today...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Verve (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 9:26am

    Re: Re: That's too bad.

    Or my current favorite: "The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits." - Albert Einstein

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 9:42am

    My GPS gets into a funny mood at times and instead of making a left turn across a busy street it calculates that should drive to the US/Canada boarder (some 3.5 hours away) and make a U-turn there and come back.
    I work on computers enough to not trust them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 9:49am

    It's actually a really good excuse.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 9:52am

    Re:

    For bad driving that is.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    icon
    Chronno S. Trigger (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 9:52am

    Re:

    Yeah, my GPS douse that to me every now and then. Then again, Google Maps, Mapquest, and Yahoo Maps do that to me as well. Looks like the only way to get it correct is to have been there already.

    At least you didn't drive off a cliff or onto railroad tracks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    icon
    Sneeje (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 9:53am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 9:55am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Carmageddon, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 10:03am

    It's a game

    I like to talk back to my GPS ... things go something like this... Turn Right in .2 miles ... I reply - you stupid hose-bag you're taking me around the block just to avoid a left turn across a busy street.

    Apparently the GPS is afraid of using the suicide lane.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re:

    It's just an outpouring of facts about some dude and I really haven't a clue what the spam bot wants us to feel about it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    chuck nussman, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 10:33am

    gps vs. common sense

    I just spilled a styrofoam cup of hot coffee in my lap. What should I do now? Oh, yeah, sue the fast food chain.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    iNtrigued (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 10:48am

    Re: Re:

    Allow me to start.

    uh-em...

    HAHAHahahaHAHAHahaha! What a moron!

    You know, they say having a good laugh everyday can do wonders for your health... So bring on the idiots!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 12:30pm

    Re: That's too bad.

    “Even good technology can't keep users from doing dumb things.”

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    batch, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 1:06pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Don't read it! Its implanting subconscious triggers into your mind! One day, you'll get a phone call and be transformed into a spam bot yourself!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    icon
    Thomas (profile), Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 1:27pm

    New opportunity...

    for would-be murderers: reprogram your victim's GPS so it tells them to drive onto the railroad tracks, over a cliff, or down a boat ramp into a river.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    hegemon13, Sep 22nd, 2009 @ 2:41pm

    Re: New opportunity...

    Already used in both CSI (reprogrammed it to guide the guy to a deserted dock, where he was shot), and in Untraceable ("They've hacked into the computer in my car!" LOL).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Rabbit80, Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 6:09am

    Am I the only one that checks the directions my GPS gives me BEFORE I set off? Surely these things are meant as an aid - to help remind you of where you are going - not co-drivers in themselves?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    icon
    Matthew Krum (profile), Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 7:26am

    Blade Runne

    I hope his car had Blade Runner type sounds to warn any pedestrians at the bottom of the cliff. :-)
    I wonder if he has one of those "God is My Co-Pilot" bumper stickers. Snoogins.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 8:24am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    icon
    Almost Anonymous (profile), Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 8:25am

    Re: Blade Runne

    +1 for the Jay/Silent Bob reference.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 8:46am

    "doh"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Dave, Sep 23rd, 2009 @ 12:07pm

    Sat nav

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    icon
    Brad (profile), Oct 8th, 2009 @ 11:03am

    Dangerous

    It is dangerous to use the gps while driving. Esp. hitting buttons and trying to use it while driving. That's why there is a warning saying you agree the use it not while driving.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This