Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Over reliance on technology causes another traffic accident

People are becoming increasingly reliant on computer technology for navigation, often forgetting to use their own eyes and ears like they used to in the good ol' days before GPS, mobile internet and the like. Take the case of the woman who was run over while following instructions on Google Maps, and then subsequently sued the search giant because it said the route was safe for pedestrians.

I saw a similar event first hand today. I was walking through West Perth on my way to Subiaco. As I approached Thomas Street, I heard the screeching of a car trying to stop. I looked up and saw one car in the midst of a hard right hand turn from the left lane of Thomas street. A car in the right lane was heading towards it at speed. It was desperately trying to stop but failed to do so in time. It hit the turning car, which then headed off in the opposite direction, then turned left down the next street.

I told the unhurt, but shocked driver who'd hit this car where it had gone. He walked down the street and came back some minutes later after having spoken to that driver. Shaking his head, he said the bloke was looking at his TomTom and it told him to make a right turn, so he just obeyed this instruction automatically.

Amazing. He didn't even look to see what was going on behind him! I'm just glad that no one was hurt.

UPDATE: If this story is accurate, then events like the one I witnessed have occurred hundreds of thousands of times in the UK.

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