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 Lunar Roadstar EL review – 1 - The Lunar Roadstar EL rides on the very manoeuvrable Renault Master and is powered by a 2.3-litre, Euro 6-compliant, turbodiesel engine with 128bhp (© Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Bailey Autograph 68-2 review – 1 - This rear-lounge, 3500kg ’van is a pretty manageable 6.79m long – the wind-out awning is standard, too (© Practical Motorhome)

Tribute 680

£41,087OTR

The Practical Motorhome Tribute 680 review – 1 - The XL LWB Fiat Ducato-based Tribute 680 has a 25-litre underslung gas tank (© Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Adria Sonic Supreme I 810 SC review – 1 - The 2017-season Adria Sonic Supreme I 810 SC is priced from £86,990 OTR, £98,739 as tested (© Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Swift Rio 340 Black Edition review – 1 - Black cab detailing has been a hit in the Bolero and Kon-Tiki ranges, and has now come to the Rio (© Practical Motorhome)
The Practical Motorhome Globecar Campscout Revolution review – 1 - This Fiat Ducato-based panel van conversion costs from £47,590 OTR (£50,416 as tested) (© Practical Motorhome)