Couple Spends 24 Hours Stuck in Snow After Blindly Following Google Maps

The couple tried to turn around but ended up stuck in snow 1 photo
Photo: Grand County Sherriff office
Blindly trusting navigation apps is a big no-no, especially when they take you off the road and suggest alternative routes rarely used by cars.
That is what happened a few days ago on the Castleton-Gateway Road, as a young Oregon couple ended up spending some 24 hours stuck in the snow because Google Maps sent them on an unmaintained road.

The Grand County Sherriff’s Search and Rescue explain the two and their dog tried to turn around, but the SUV got stuck in the snow.

Following directions on their Google Maps app, they drove their late model SUV up from Gateway and became stuck attempting to turn around when they realized the snow was too deep on the unmaintained and unplowed road,” the local officials say.

A tow truck sent to rescue the couple ended up stuck in the snow as well, so the emergency teams had to send another truck to free the first one and only then continue the operations.

GCSAR sent 2 snowmobiles and a tracked Polaris Ranger to pick up the couple and their dog. They were about 5 miles from the Colorado border. A Utah State Parks & Recreation Ranger assisted in the rescue,” the Grand County Sherriff’s office explains.

As it turns out, this isn’t the first time drivers end up stuck on the same road in brutal winter weather after following navigation apps.

And the emergency teams warn that doing this can have serious consequences, mainly because there are several areas without phone cell service.

Drivers who are unaware of conditions on the unmaintained road and who are unprepared to spend a night in winter conditions are often directed to this road by navigation apps which indicate it is the route from the Unaweep Canyon area of Colorado to Moab. Even well-outfitted 4X4 vehicles have become stuck in deep snowdrifts along the road,” they say.

Not a long time ago, a young Russian driver froze to death in brutally cold weather, while his friend ended up in hospital with severe injuries after following Google Maps navigation and going on an abandoned road.

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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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