Bus Driver Follows GPS, Gets Wedged Under BridgeThis one is kind of scary. Did you ever see / read The Sweet Hereafter? If not, and you have kids who take the bus, or if you regularly take the bus yourself, or if you live somewhere where the roads are slick and snowy, maybe skip it (and be careful, for chrissake). Otherwise, check it out when you are in the mood for a major bummer.
In April of 2008, a bus driver responsible for a high school girls softball team ignored the basic laws of math, his bus driver training, and all common sense when he plowed the bus into - and under - a bridge in the Washington Park Arboretum.
The bust was 12 feet high. The very old pedestrian foot bridge was 9 feet high, and flashing lights and yellow signs posted on its path said as much. But the GPS on the bus said go! go this way; it's safe; ignore that little demon on your shoulder; I would never steer you wrong; everything will be fine, just fine. So the driver went
The roof of the bus was sheared off, and several students were treated for minor injuries. In a statement, the president of the charter bus defended the driver and blamed the GPS: "We just thought it would be a safe route, because why else would they have a selection for a bus?"
Trucker Follows GPS Directions, Winds Up in TreeIt can be hard to multitask. Usually, when you're listening to the voice on your GPS, you're also driving a motor vehicle. And what, you're expected to read signs, too? Nice try, words. You'd have to wake up pretty early in the morning to fool me.
In July of 2007, a German driver listened to his GPS and drove a cargo truck at the same time, but he drew the line on responsibility right there. While barreling through the Lucerne area of Switzerland, the driver daydreamed right past several "No Entry" signs. In broad daylight, he drove down a busy pedestrian walkway and plowed straight into a cherry tree.
The truck, naturally, was wedged into the tree. When the truck driver tried to back out, he wound up taking out several lamp posts and causing even more tree destruction.
Swiss workers had to use chainsaws on the tree, and the truck driver was fined about $540.
UK Motorists Follow GPS, Get Stuck on Narrow RoadsIn the tiny villages and towns around Winchester, UK, motorists have long had problems with GPS navigation. They follow the route their devices suggest and repeatedly wind up stuck -- the roads are simply too narrow for some wider vehicles.
The problem got so bad in the town of Exton that a bright yellow sign was erected to warn drivers NOT to follow their GPS and to, instead, rely on common sense. These are the times we live in, folks.
German Driver Obeys GPS, Drives Into Sand PileIn October of 2006, an elderly German driver somehow made a conscious decision to ignore a "closed for construction" sign on a busy roadway near Hamburg. Why? Why on earth? The 80-year-old motorist opted, instead, to follow his GPS directions to the letter.
The man and his wife were lucky to escape injury (and worse) when he shot past an enormous warning sign and drove headfirst into a massive sand pile.
And before you ask: yes, he was also driving a Mercedes.
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