Friday, March 18, 2011

The mark 1 eyeball

What is it with some people that they will put common sense to one side when dealing with technology?

A RED-FACED trucker stranded £150,000 worth of brand new cars when he followed his sat nav directions up a mountain cattle track.
Markus Lutz, 38, drove his truck up a woodland path in Cochem, Germany, that was normally used by local dairy farmers taking their herds to and from pasture.
"I just did what it said on the screen and the road got smaller and smaller. In the end I couldn't go forward or back," the driver told police.
It's not the first time I've heard such tales either, it's not just Germany after all, back in 2008 there were reports that Sat Navs had caused up to 300,000 accidents in the UK because drivers tended to rely on them more than common sense. Back in February a 4 year old girl died because her parents following the instructions of a Sat Nav turned right into traffic despite there being sign saying no right turn. The highway code is actually quite clear about sign-age, Signs with red circles are mostly prohibitive. Plates below signs qualify their message. No right turn means no right turn regardless of what the Sat Nav says. But people are far more trusting of the Sat Nav than their eyes and I'm not sure why, they'll follow its instructions in the face of practically anything else. No I'm not blaming the Sat Navs themselves, they're programmed by people and they are only as good as the info in them, the problem seems to be people. Little Britain seems to have the whole thing nailed with their "computer say no" sketches, where technology was the be all and end all of the whole thing no matter what the people involved seemed to want and very humorously done too.
So I guess that I'll stick to my maps and my common (road) sense and my route planning for now and ignore the blandishments of over 50's insurance with their offer of a free Sat Nav and trust that the next car I see coming the wrong way up a dual carriageway or one way street isn't another victim of technology, I don't need technology to get me into trouble, I'm pretty good at finding it without additional help.

2 annotations:

Furor Teutonicus said...

I want to know why the police are not doing these idiots with "sat nav". Or has the offence of "having a screen with moving images within site of the driver" been thrown out with the bath water as well?

microdave said...

The police probably rely on them as well...