GPS blamed for driver drowning in lake


The directions provided by a GPS device have been named as the cause of an accident in Spain. It is alleged that the device guided two men into a rural road that ended abruptly, causing the car to drop into an artificial lake, killing one of them.

According to Spanish newspaper El Mundo, a 37-yo Senegalese man died when his car fell into a lake near the town of Capilla, Badajoz. According to his companion—who survived the accident—the driver was following the GPS directions when the car fell into the water, sinking in just a few minutes.

Dangerous Road Conditions

Apparently, it was a very dark night in a bad rural road. The man was a foreigner who didn’t know the area. When he saw the end of the road, it was too late. He didn’t have time to stop the car. Perhaps he was going too fast, perhaps it was a sudden turn into the cliff. [Info from]

Road Safety Advice

We have previously discussed the need to drive with extreme caution – and not to be overly confident! We would like to quote from the Arrive Alive Road Safety Website:

The Arrive Alive website and road safety blogs often feature stories about road users ending up in a ditch or river –only to claim that they have followed a GPS device.

GPS technology is making a significant contribution to road safety – especially for visitors to foreign locations. It is important though to remember that no device or technology can replace common sense – and the driver needs to stay alert to road conditions, signage and the behaviour of road users around him.

A visitor to the Arrive Alive website sent an important email on GPS devices –and I would like to quote from this email:

“I wanted to recommend to you to write an article on the use of GPS devices to assist drivers in general. They really assist and give a lot of peace of mind (and save a lot of marriages). There are also some tips that can be provided to road users so that they do not follow it blindly.

Here are some tips:

• The use of these devices improves road safety but there are some pitfalls that drivers need to be aware off.

• They are as good as the programmers and errors may occur.

• The road situation, especially during construction changes and the driver must be aware of changes that may cause confusion.

• To operate the devise whilst driving is not recommended, make a safe stop, relax and work on the device.

• Be careful that when selecting the shortest route that you are familiar with the area that you are going through. Avoid high crime areas and taxi ranks.

• Report all errors detected to your GPS map service provider. It will assist all the other users in the future.

• Make use of the device to monitor your speed and ensure that you stay within the speed limits and not only at safety spots.

• Make sure that the device is not exposed to the sun, when parked.”

We would like to urge all vehicle and GPS owners to visit the section GPS and Road Safety and to share their experiences on the joys and pains of driving with GPS.