December 29, 2009

Well, Honey, the GPS Says to Go this Way

Someone else lets the gadget do their thinking for them.

A Nevada couple letting their SUV's navigation system guide them through the high desert of Eastern Oregon got stuck in snow for three days when the GPS unit sent them down a remote forest road.

This reminds me of the game of Dueling Proverbs, in which you come up with contradictory sayings. "Out of sight, out of mind" versus "Absence makes the heart grow fonder."

Another saying is "Trust your instruments." If you feel like north is off to your right, but the compass says north is straight ahead, trust the compass.

On the other hand, if the gadget (or the map) sends you down some road in the boonies in the winter, maybe you should think seriously about weather and local conditions.

Two years ago, James Kim (also in Oregon) did not--a similar case with a worse outcome.

4 comments:

Peculiar said...

I just checked, and Mapquest will still tell you that the shortest route from Ouray to Telluride is via Black Bear Pass. Emphatically not recommended for everyday motorists!

LabRat said...

The Redneck Limousine rolls with a toolbox filled with survival gear in case we ever get stuck in the boonies in the winter. We have never been stuck anywhere in any season.

It does not have a GPS. We have a GPS unit, but it never gets used unless driving in a strange city.

Possibly these facts are related somehow.

smartdogs said...

Carrying a good survival kit with you almost guarantees you'll never need one. That's why there's one in my car ;0}

I use a GPS unit to navigate when I'm in the city. It works wonderfully there and I can watch traffic instead of worrying about where I need to turn. On back roads it's only useful as a compass and basic map.

No machine will ever replace common sense.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Although I do have a handheld GPS unit, which I use mainly for fun and for geocaching, I have never used the in-vehicle kind.

In fact, I don't think that I ever have been inside a vehicle that had one.