Driver Ends Up in a River Because That’s Where Navigation Told Him to Go

Blindly following navigation apps is something nobody should ever do as all the incidents making the headlines every once in a while are living proof in this regard.
The van ended up right in the river 1 photo
Photo: The Northern Eco
This is the case of a delivery driver who ended up with his van in a river in Weardale, UK, after using a navigation app to find an address.

According to local media, it all happened on January 19, when the driver somehow entered the water at Westgate. Obviously, he got stuck and was no longer able to reach the shore. After screaming for help, local residents heard the man and called the emergency services, which used special equipment to get him out of the water. Not the van though, as it just had to stay in the water until a dedicated vehicle was found to tow it.

Local authorities blame navigation apps for sending drivers to such dangerous routes, explaining there’s a bridge only a few hundred meters away from the point the van ended up in the river. Needless to say, said bridge allows anyone to safely cross the water.

Clearly we will have to look at new warning signs to stop this happening again, and I have asked for this to be looked at as a matter of urgency. Not only was the life of the delivery driver put at risk, but that of the emergency services, and I applaud them for their efforts on that evening. The only blame is that of technology, and satellite navigation systems in vehicles,” Durham County Councillor for Weardale, John Shuttleworth, was quoted as saying.

The name of the navigation app the driver was using was not disclosed, though it’s probably not that hard to guess the man was most likely relying on Waze, Google Maps, or Apple Maps to find the address he was looking for.

Not a long time ago, two young Russians ended up on an abandoned road after following a route suggested by Google Maps. The outcome was far less fortunate, as the driver eventually froze to death in cold weather.
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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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