20 times Google Maps messed up and put people in sticky situations


What a world do we live in where we can say a few words on our cell phones or computers and find perfect directions, right? Wrong! Directions cannot be trusted no matter where they come from. And after this article, we’re sure drivers will think twice about how well they track their GPS devices.

Googled directions normally can’t account for sudden builds or detours, and sometimes the path less traveled isn’t always the best way to go.

While Robert Frost was on foot sabotage, we are talking about preventing our cars from floating in the nearest river. Or slide into a mud pit. Or off the tracks. It’s not always pretty, it’s definitely not smart, and none of it makes sense.

With a little common sense, we too can avoid finding ourselves in situations like this …

20 He provided directions, okay … straight into a mud pit

via Outside Magazine

The worst part is that it happened this year … in 2019. June, dozens of drivers attempted to change their route when they encountered a detour in Denver. They all ended up following the same dirt road, leaving them in a sticky situation … literally, they were stuck in the mud.

19 Watch those good turns, especially in New York

via pbworks

New York can be quite confusing, especially for tourists who have never been there. It is never recommended to go around town without knowing where you are going beforehand, but apparently for a man this rule did not apply. Taking a hasty right turn, his GPS showed him the steps to Riverside Park.

18 Note to Australian tourists: Ferries are required to cross the water

via Public Radio International

Directions are never infallible and this story is both a case and a point. When a group of Japanese tourists decided to travel to Australia, they had a very unexpected experience, tempera surprise. Their directions did not take into account the miles of water between them and their destination, leading them directly into the body of water.

17 Not all maps go the right way, some people drive the wrong way for hours

via Public Radio International

Cards aren’t particularly smart, but then again, sometimes people aren’t too smart either. For example, when a woman tried to pick up her friend from a destination that was not as far away as she finished – from Brussels to Germany. She claimed she was’distracted‘while following the GPS.

16 A “ path ” is certainly not the same as a “ road ”

via YouTube

Often, dirt roads can look like paths, especially if they are wide. At least, that’s what happened to a man who attempted to cross West Yorkshire to England. The unexpected surprise came when he found himself almost hanging on the edge of a 100 feet falling off a cliff after following his “directions”.

15 Boat ramps look like off-road ramps in the dark, don’t they?

via listverse

It is easy to confuse some roads in the dark, but it is quite difficult to confuse a lake with some freeway weather. A group of tourists visiting Washington had this problem trying to find their way back to their hotel around midnight, but ended up driving straight into a lake, with success. shipwreck their SUV (everyone was fine, though).

14 Fog is always dangerous, but even more so when you follow a GPS

A word of warning: when following the voice instructions, beware of your surroundings in the fog. In 2011, a man was driving his family through New Jersey on a particularly foggy night and, for some reason, didn’t realize when his GPS was about to lead him straight to the side of a house.

13 Sure, follow a Google voice on road signs

via Wikimedia Commons

The signs are there for a reason and it’s usually not just for our amusement. In Germany, a man found out the hard way when he ignored his instincts and instead followed his GPS. That simple decision landed him halfway up a cherry tree and, needless to say, he didn’t get to his destination on time.

12 “ Closed for construction ” usually means what it says

via Austin American-Statesmen

For some reason, many humans think that ignoring construction signs is a good use of their time. Googled directions have an excuse – they don’t have the intelligence to realize that some roads are closed. Some people, however, ignore it and end up walking through construction areas and into sand pits instead … yes, it did.

11 Spelling errors aren’t something a GPS is designed to handle

via Pinterest

We understand that driving in other countries can be really confusing. What we don’t understand is not checking our map directions, especially when we are in uncharted territory. This is how a couple ended up in Carpi, Italy, rather than their intended destination, Capri.

ten Map errors occur, be aware of potentially dangerous conditions

via biser3a

Despite what a GPS tells you, it is still a good idea to be aware of what you are head toward. It’s a warning one man refused to heed, even though he passed several warning signs to avoid entering and turning around. Thus, the story ends with a Mercedes Benz pierced on a construction site (barricaded).

9 Cards + tracks + drinks for adults do not mix

via Lincoln Journal Star

While being influenced by adult drinks, a man didn’t realize he was tracking his GPS directly on a set of railways in East Yorkshire. Luckily the train workers were able to contact the police before anything serious happened, but man, what a dangerously crazy ride.

8 The park steps aren’t a shortcut, especially in a limousine

via Yelp

In Salzburg, Austria, of all places, is not a place where you would want to stage a scene … especially not in a limousine. However, that’s exactly what a man did when he tracked his GPS on the steps in the park. Man, what’s up with the parks and the wrong directions? These are not roads, people!

7 Goat trails, dirt roads, not much difference in Switzerland

via Earth Trekkers

Switzerland is full of beauty and nature, which deserves to be taken into account. One man thought he would go one step further and go through a car ride, which of course was led by a set of wobbly directions. Instead, he ended up driving in a narrow goat path before being stopped by the authorities halfway up a mountain.

6 There are roads in Boston, no need to drive on the tracks

via the Boston Globe

Most people are able to differentiate railways and the road … except for a woman in Boston. The scariest part was that she was just tracking her GPS and had kids in the car. Fortunately, she was able to ditch the car (and hopefully her GPS) before a train came down the tracks.

5 Short trip turns into makeshift camping with GPS in Oregon’s backcountry

via Medium

When the going gets tough, the tough ones get driving … and driving … and driving. A couple in Oregon is guilty of taking this course of action when their GPS took them down an old forest road, twisted with fallen trees. They eventually gave in and contacted the cops after living two days out of their car.

4 Bike paths are not roads … unless the map tells us otherwise

via YouTube

Aside from the obvious danger this poses to bikers, it’s just plain ignorant. It was a late night when a man from Florida, under the guidance of his GPS, drove himself and his family on a cycle path thinking it was just a narrow road. After worried phone calls from observers, he was finally arrested before anything serious happened.

3 The intended destination was Pennsylvania … He ended up in Canada

via canada.ca

We don’t even really know how it happened. Somehow a man trying to get to Pennsylvania from New York was rerouted through Canada, and he didn’t realize until he was already on the other side. This obviously created a challenge when returning to the States, thus securing a place on the “no re-enrollment” list.

2 Apple Maps: directing people to airplane runways since 2013

via self-evolution

In 2013 there was a fairly famous Apple Cards error that led people to runway in service in Alaska. As well as being dangerous and potentially fatal, it also caused major problems for those responsible for operating planes. The tarmac has since been heavily barricaded.

1 Most cars cannot float, especially when driven on a boat ramp, in Alaska of all places

via self-evolution

Alas, we arrive again in Alaska. A man confused his GPS directions with a real, well-thought-out recommendation and, after leaving the harbor ferry, drove his car back to Prince William Sound. Unfortunately, his cat was unsuccessful, but he and his dog, who was also in the car, did so on time.

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