GPS navigation may be a lifesaver (sometimes literally) in all kinds of situations, but it can also put people in danger when used improperly.

Photo by Chris March @ Flickr

GPS navigation may be a lifesaver (sometimes literally) in all kinds of situations, but it can also put people in danger when used improperly.

The forthcoming government satnav summit is designed to address such problems in part, but there’s little technological solution for drivers who blindly follow electronic directions even when the view through the windscreen suggests an alternate route would be advisable.

Similarly, some GPS users’ reliance on the technology at the expense of more traditional — and reliable — navigation aids is also difficult to deal with and here’s one recent example that highlights how such a situation can get out of hand.

Grough magazine reports on the case of a walker who became lost in the Snowdonia National Park in February after the batteries in his GPS device ran out.

Once darkness fell, low cloud led the walker to become disorientated and, without any other means of navigation or direction finding, he was forced to alert the mountain rescue team. A 12-member search team then located the man, who was unharmed, three hours later.

The mountain rescue team stated that the walker was suitably dressed and had the appropriate equipment. But, as several commenters on the story at the Grough web site point out, that evidently didn’t include a paper map and compass.

So, just as anyone who ventures into more remote regions on foot should carry the means to navigate using methods that don’t rely on battery power, drivers should always pack an up-to-date road atlas when embarking upon a journey for which they’re going to rely upon satnav.

[Grough]

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent motorhome reviews

The Practical Motorhome IH N-Class 630 RLS review – 1 - The IH N-Class 630 RLS is priced from £73,995 OTR for the 130bhp variant and from £76,490 OTR for the 180bhp version – we're testing the latter (© Gentleman Jack/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Marquis Majestic 196 review – 1 - Fitting six berths and six travel seats into a 3500kg motorhome is no mean feat – does it work? (© Phil Russell/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Swift Bessacarr 597 review – 1 - The ’van tested has an MTPLM of 3850kg, but there is a version with a 3500kg MTPLM (and a lower payload) – read more in our Swift Bessacarr 597 review (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)

Rapido 8094dF

£70,600OTR

The Practical Motorhome Rapido 8094dF review – 1 - You get a lot in this 3500kg MTPLM motorhome, but 3700kg and 4.4-tonne chassis upgrades are available (© Sarah Wakely/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome 2018 Auto-Trail Tracker LB Lo-Line review – 1 - The Auto-Trail Tracker LB is available in Lo-Line (as pictured) or Hi-Line form (© Peter Baber/Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome 2018 Elddis Accordo 105 review – 1 - The Elddis Accordo 105's Azure Blue aluminium sidewalls are new for the 2018 touring season (© Practical Motorhome)