Posting in Finance
Drivers competing with their on-board GPS systems' estimated times of arrival create a safety hazard, according to a new U.K. study.
When was the last time your car's GPS gave you an estimated time of arrival to your destination and you didn't feel the slightest bit compelled to beat the time?
We've all been there, deriving that competitive pleasure from the knowledge that we have bested our inanimate on-board computer.
In fact, according to a recent U.K. study, 50% of the 7.2 million drivers surveyed said they had driven over the speed limit to "beat" their GPS.
But while commonplace, the practice is also hazardous. The same survey found that 144,000 of those 7.2 drivers surveyed had been involved in a collision with another automobile, 1.2 million of them had run through yellow lights, and 570,000 did not slow down at intersections and roundabouts.
"Used correctly GPS units are a fantastic invention that help drivers navigate effectively and concentrate on the road far more than when using maps or printed directions," said Ben Tyte, head of car insurance at Sainsbury's Finance, the company that commissioned the study from ICM Research.
"However, we are encouraging drivers using this new driving technology to have the safety of any passengers, other road users and pedestrians at the forefront of their minds and not be tempted to become GPS racers," Tyte continued.
Despite increased awareness of the practice, it is likely to increase as more and more drivers make use of on-board GPS systems.
So next time you are tempted to shave those extra few minutes off your estimated travel time, just think: is it really worth breaking all sorts of traffic rules to beat that disembodied voice coming out of your dashboard?
Aug 8, 2011
It is amazing the stupid things people do because their GPS told them to. Recent headlines include driving into a pool because it told them to turn, going onto a closed bridge past barriers (and into the river), driving a big rig down the car only Storrow Drive in Boston and my personal favorite, getting stuck in the desert for a week on a trip to Las Vegas because the GPS told them turn down a dirt road to get to the Luxor.
Here in Oregon where the distances traveled can be far on relatively lightly traveled roads it's usually pretty easy to beat the GPS estimates.
I've always been amazed by the accuracy of my GPS's ETA estimates. Trying to beat them by driving dangerously seems illogical to me. Just goes to show you can't out-engineer stupidity.
I don't think there is any technology that can replace common sense. Just this past spring we had a Canadian couple traveling to Vegas for a convention try a secondary road in northeast Nevada that isn't maintained in the winter. The wife was found alive but to my knowledge they haven't found the husband yet. http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2011/05/missing_canadian_couple_wife_recorded_albert_chretiens_planned_gps_route_in_journal_but_still_no_sig.html
I heard of a similar story in Nevada or Arizona this past year involving a mother and son on a trip. Mom made it, but the kid died.