Recently, we learned that sixth-generation Chevrolet Corvettes are out to get us, and now it seems that our beloved GPS has turned on us. Consumer Reports calls it "Death by GPS", and it's a term that refers to folks who wind up in dangerous or fatal situations because they blindly follow the directions provided by their electronic navigational aid.
A Canadian couple was recently in the news when their GPS led them astray and into a remote part of Northern Nevada. The husband set out for help while the wife remained with their vehicle for seven weeks until being discovered (still alive) by a group of hunters.
We live in an age where we rely quite heavily on the technology around us. It's no surprise then that we put blind faith in our personal devices, yet we should take a step back to see them for what they really are. The GPS is a tool to aid with navigation, yet it's not an infallible machine. Data (and a clear line of sight to orbiting satellites) is a major requirement for a navigation unit to function at its best. More remote areas have less data because of the infrequent amount of traffic they receive, thus a navigation unit would have less information with which to provide feedback.
If you're behind the wheel of a vehicle, and you're heading into unfamiliar territory, it's a good idea to remember that your navigation system is part of a team. Your brain should also be part of that team. Click past the jump to watch a CBS News clip discussing the "Death by GPS" phenomenon.