January 01, 2010

'Our Devices Don't Know What the Weather Is'

Continuing a theme: Someone needs to explain to me this new fad of blinding following your vehicle GPS unit as it directs you to drive up a snowmobile trail.

Apparently all the kids are doing it now.

[Klamath County (Ore.) Sheriff Tim] Evinger recalled that within the last year in his county a hunter in a pickup followed GPS instructions along a powerline road and got stuck in a marsh, and travelers in a car got stuck in snow when they turned onto a Forest Service road that had been closed and converted to use for snowmobiles.

I am at a bit of a loss to understand. I have never been in a car or truck with a built-in GPS unit. It has been two years since the last time that I rented a car, and either that option was not available or I did not feel like paying for it—can't recall.

I do own a basic hand-held model that I use mainly for geocaching. Sometimes when walking cross-country in unfamiliar places I will set a waypoint or two, like for where the truck is parked. Don't want to be another mycological statistic for the local Search & Rescue group.

But in their cars, people just turn off their brains and do whatever The Voice tells them? Is that how it works?

"Our devices don't know what the weather is," said Jessica Myers, spokeswoman for GPS manufacturer Garmin. "It's the responsibility of the driver to exercise common sense." (Translation: Don't sue us, you idiots.)


Holly Heyser said...

And that is one of the main reasons I don't have one of these things. I see it as yet another device that separates us from our common sense. That's the opposite of the direction I've been headed for the past few years.

Anonymous said...

Garmin - thinning the herd for the new millennium.

Chas S. Clifton said...

Alas, Search & Rescue groups tend to be too efficient and the "lemmings" are rescued in many cases. ;-)