Here's a good example why you can't blindly follow Google Maps



Many of us rely on Google Maps every day to help us get safely from point "A" to point "B." But sometimes putting blind faith in technology can backfire. Take the ordeal that nearly 100 Colorado drivers found themselves living through this past Sunday when they tried to drive around a traffic jam. According to CNN and Denver 7, an accident on a road leading to Denver International Airport led drivers to follow a detour suggested by the Google Maps app. The app said that the detour would get drivers to the airport in just 23 minutes, half the time it would take them following the usual directions.

The 100 drivers that followed in a line ended up driving on a dirt road that rain had turned into a slippery, muddy mess. Some cars started skidding on the road while others were stuck in the mud, spinning their wheels. A large number of drivers found themselves trapped behind the cars that couldn't get any traction. Making A U-turn was not possible because the road only accommodates one car at a time. In a statement, Google said that the road was not marked as private even though it is. It added that "unforeseen circumstances" can cause issues when driving, including the weather.


Denver traffic reporter Jayson Luber says that drivers are getting too dependent on Google Maps. "You are driving. Google Maps is not driving," Luber said. "Google Maps is not perfect. You need to know where you are going and, if it does not look like that’s where you should be going, turn around and try again. Take a look at the Google map and it’s going to tell you where to go, but you are not a lemming and you don’t need to follow it exactly. It’s better to find your own way and take a look at the map."

So next time Google Maps suggests a detour that it says will cut the time of your drive by a decent amount, you might want to think twice before driving off the beaten path. Still, we should note that the app will indeed get you where you want to go without incident most of the time.

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17 Comments

1. Nexus4lifes

Posts: 294; Member since: Feb 13, 2014

Yes just follow apple maps

2. apple-rulz

Posts: 2120; Member since: Dec 27, 2016

While the article didn't mention Apple Maps, I'm glad Apple occupies a special place in your mind.

4. mclaren113

Posts: 53; Member since: Dec 12, 2017

Because once you read the article title the first thing comes to your mind is the disastrous Apple maps

15. oldskool50

Posts: 1593; Member since: Mar 29, 2019

Apple maps had a driver end up on the end of a runway at an airport.https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-24246646 At least Google she only ended up in a field. This is more of a perfect example of how even though phones are smart, they can't make people who use them any smarter than they are already; or not in this case.

3. lyndon420

Posts: 6793; Member since: Jul 11, 2012

Way too funny!! There's idiots in every camp lol.

5. Valdomero

Posts: 683; Member since: Nov 13, 2012

This once happened to me with Gmaps, I put a hotel location and the damn app sent us to a vacant lot in the middle of nowhere, it was dark and lonely. Then I put Waze and it guide us through flawlessly to the hotel.

11. Fellwalker

Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

Did you submit a correction to the address?

14. worldpeace

Posts: 3135; Member since: Apr 15, 2016

Waze also owned by Google.

6. cmdacos

Posts: 4216; Member since: Nov 01, 2016

So Google is supposed to provide up to the second weather conditions to determine how bad dirt roads are?

7. AbhiD

Posts: 812; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

Google Maps isn't really that reliable at times. Twice i have been led to seriously narrow and bad roads by GMaps and i was stuck for very long. And it wasn't even an alternate route but the main suggestion by Maps while there were main routes available (as i came to know later). And once my cousin was led to so narrow street by GMaps that nothing else than a bicycle could pass through it. And it showed it as a proper route.

8. whatev

Posts: 2278; Member since: Oct 28, 2015

This is totally true, I tried google maps a few weeks ago to go to a direction I didn’t know and it led to a turn that was forbidden, thank god I could do it without problems because there were no cars, but I learned google maps isn’t reliable

12. Fellwalker

Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

Did you submit a correction?

9. HildyJ

Posts: 338; Member since: Aug 11, 2012

The problem is not Google Maps but idiot drivers. I have never been directed down a dirt road although I have been directed down gravel and one lane roads and, in all cases, while going to an address, the route has been accurate. However, I have been directed down a road which had a flood warning sign put up during a period of heavy rainstorms. I turned around. Anyone encountering a muddy dirt road should have the common sense to turn around. Especially if you see the car in front of you is stuck.

10. siedkick

Posts: 1; Member since: Jun 27, 2019

Google does this to drivers every day. The reason it doesn't make the news is because it doesn't usually happen to 100 people at a time. I have been hounding Google for years to add an "avoid unpaved roads" option. This incident should emphasize the value of such on option.

13. JCASS889

Posts: 539; Member since: May 18, 2018

Literally never had an issue with Google maps, it gets me to where I need to go without fault, people just rely to much on it and blindly follow without any hint of common sense.

16. Fellwalker

Posts: 538; Member since: Apr 04, 2014

Lucky. Since I was directed to a golf club but on the wrong side of the course (a 5 mile trip round) I've always checked the location pin. Too often it is in the wrong place. I've had trouble previously with copilot and TomTom, and here maps in the car's built in satnav. I've submitted over 100 corrections. Businesses are reported at their registered office, often an accountant or directors home. Once I even found a bus stop tagged as a hotel which was half a mile away - it had 7 reviews as if it were the hotel! I've had satnav try to take me down abandoned railway lines, farm tracks that show on the map but not on the ground, bus only gates, a hedge (it showed that the roads connected). Even very recently Google tried to take me along a road which I know is a cul de sac. The route shown went across playing fields. Whether Google is to blame or there are bad actors changing things for a laugh, you cannot blindly trust it.

17. Vancetastic

Posts: 1372; Member since: May 17, 2017

Both Google AND Apple maps directed us to the wrong place today. I quit.

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