Sat-nav’s are designed for the modern age and built for one purpose – guide you to a destination quickly and hassle free. But what happens when not all goes to plan, sending you off track and often into trouble.
I’ve sourced and collected what I believe to be the top 10 sat-nav fails of all time. Some from the past and some very recent, with all one thing in common – the words “Where are we?!”
England footballer drives Porsche into mud pit – Tweet #MudLAD
Premier League and England footballer Andre Wisdom nearly missed his team’s kick off – when his £100,00 Porsche became stuck in a heavy duty mud pit. He was forced to abandon his car after a sat-nav error landed him in it. He was in the middle of remote woods before his team rescued him to the ground on time. The Porsche Panamera Turbo was spotted by a passing mountain biker. Pete Irons – “it’s mind boggling how it got there, it’s miles from anywhere!”. Wisdom is on loan from Liverpool to Championship side Derby – new club means new roads, so the use of a sat-nav was crucial – shame about the mud pit. His team won 3-0 – and his Porsche was returned that evening.
Belgium woman’s 38-mile trip to station ends up in Croatia – Tweet #RoadTrip
A Belgium woman set her sat-nav to pick up a friend from the station 38-miles away, but rather than a casual ride across the land, she lands herself in Croatia, over 900-miles away from the station. She passed through four countries (France, Germany, Austria and Slovenia), totalling a time of two days. “But I didn’t ask myself any questions. I was just distracted, so I kept my foot down.” Spokesman from Belgium Police – “These GPS systems cause problems from time to time but nothing like this. But this woman has done nothing wrong and we just have to believe her.”
Police use sat-nav of gang as crucial evidence to previous hold ups – Tweet #BadLuck
A notorious gang of armed bank robbers were brought to justice because their bungling driver used his sat nav to check out locations for their raids. Adrian Johnson added the addresses of 12 banks into his device’s ‘places of interest’ while planning the robberies.When he was caught during a final raid, police computer experts used his TomTom sat nav as crucial evidence to link him to previous hold-ups. The gang were eventually locked up for a total of 71 years for a spree of 21 bank jobs. Speaking after their trial, Flying Squad Detective Inspector Terry Wilson, who led the investigation, said: “There is no better evidence when you arrest somebody for a linked series of robberies at locations across the country and it was beyond our expectations.”
Sat-nav wedges truck in Devon lane – Tweet #ThisIsTight
Never let your satnav be a judge of width and distance. A Czech lorry driver was forced to spend a whole three nights sleeping in his cab when he wedged his truck in an extremely narrow lane near Ivybridge, Devon. His sat-nav sent him along the lane – which features a 90 degree turn among other lorry-unfriendly features – as a shortcut to the A38. The driver had to wait several days for relief, because his haulage company deemed a weekend rescue too expensive.
UK man nearly drives off cliff – Tweet #ThatsCloseEnough
A man from Doncaster nearly drove his car off a cliff this week, after his sat nav gave him the wrong information. Robert Jones was driving his BMW around Todmorden, West Yorkshire, when the incident happened. His GPS apparently though that a steep Pennine footpath was a road fit for a car and instructed Jones to drive across the cliff path, eventually hitting a fence above Gauxholme railway bridge. “The driver was a 43-year-old man from Doncaster. He has been summonsed to court for driving without due care and attention.”
Gibraltar Point in England or Gibraltar in Spain – Tweet #DetourLAD
Surely this is the longest ever detour taken due to a GPS mistake and sat nav disaster? Bird watchers at Gibraltar Point in England looked on in astonishment as a Syrian truck driver drove a 32 ton vehicle down a small road towards the North Sea. When stopped he said he was trying to get to Gibraltar – which just so happens to be a small island around 1,600 miles away off the coast of Spain. When questioned he said he had typed in the directions for Gibraltar into his GPS device and went off on his merry way.
Take the next right on the train tracks – Tweet #DirectLine
A motorist who drove along 20ft of a railway line told police officers his sat nav had directed him to turn on to the track. Officers found Satlegh Mohammadi stood next to his Ford Fiesta on the tracks after they were flagged down by Network Rail workers.
He claimed he had been listening to his satellite navigation system which instructed him to turn right at a town centre level crossing, driving, before realising his error. The blame for Mohammadi’s hair-raising ride couldn’t be laid solely on his digital navigator though. It was later alleged he had also been drinking before making the mistake.
Swiss Van Drivers Heads Up Mountain Using Sat Nav – Tweet #MountainGoat
Robert Ziegler was taking his van’s GPS directions as gospel whilst driving in Switzerland and ended up getting stuck up a mountain path. He was quoted as saying that “I kept hoping each little turn would get me back to the main road. In the end, it told me to turn around, but, of course, I couldn’t by then”. The hapless van driver had to call upon the Swiss mountain rescue team to get him out of this one, with the rescue attempt involving a whole team of mountaineers and even a helicopter.
Pacific Ocean? We didn’t see it – Tweet #QuickDip
This story concerns a group of Japanese tourists who had hired a car in Brisbane, Australia. Being in an unfamiliar country and driving on unknown roads is never the easiest of things, but surely they must have seen the Pacific Ocean approaching as they drove their hire car into the waves? Apparently not and despite Japan being the home of technology perhaps these guys needs a few refresher points on how to use their GPS sat nav?
Thats not a ford, that’s the River Severn! – Tweet #BigFord
As if plunging your much-loved car into a too-deep ford wasn’t bad enough, one notable error has been sending unaware drivers directly into the River Severn (Hampton Loade, Shropshire). The directions, which send drivers down a lane which has since become adorned with a ‘Sat Nav Error’ sign, seem to think that a disused foot passenger ferry terminal is in fact a road bridge. Hundreds of swearing drivers reversing their HGVs up the single-lane track would argue otherwise.