Thursday, July 21, 2022

Common Sense GPS Use

 GPS's are a wonderful tool! They can guide you through city traffic and from one location to another with ease. But remember, GPS units lack one important thing - common sense!

I just watched another horror story on YouTube about an elderly couple in a brand new motorhome driving from Indianapolis, Indiana to Tucson, Arizona. They faithfully followed their GPS instructions and ended their trip on a four wheel drive only path through the desert near Tenopah, Nevada. By the time they realized there was something wrong it was too late. He tried to turn around, dropped the RV off a rock and broke a wheel.

The story should have ended there with them waiting in air conditioned comfort to be rescued but sadly, it didn't. The RV had enough food and water for them to survive on emergency rations for at least a month. But this couple, probably in a panic, made a completely irrational, fateful decision. They headed off in their tow car (a Kia) which itself got hopelessly stuck a few miles away. Now they were in dire straits with no food, no water and none of their medications. The husband died after a few days and the wife, who needed a walker, survived for nine days on dew she collected in the early mornings until she was found. She was unable to move his body and had to share the car with it for several days.

Another couple a few years ago, traveling in a car from Kelowna, BC to Las Vegas, NV followed their GPS instructions onto a snow covered mountaintop logging road in Washington State where they became hopelessly stuck. The husband tried to walk out for help and died from exposure on the way while his wife stayed in the car surviving on melted snow, toothpaste and a few candies until a snowmobiler found her after a couple of weeks. 

We have all had our unfortunate experiences with GPS instructions. One time Norma and I were trying to find an RV park in Louisiana and were sent up a paved road that soon turned to gravel. This wasn't making sense so we stopped beside a farm were we could turn around and stopped the next vehicle who told us we were on the road to the county dump. That is how easy it can happen but we must learn to count on our instincts before it turns into a disaster. Common sense tells us that the road from Indianapolis to Tuscon does not include a four wheel drive only trail through the Nevada desert and the route from Kelowna, BC to Las Vegas does not include a logging road over a mountain in Washington State. We have to do at least that much research before heading out. And above all, we must use common sense!

Garmin Drive 52 M GPS Car Navigator, with 5-in Display, Simple On-Screen  Menus and Easy-to-See Maps | Canadian Tire