Society

Man Drives Into River Because GPS Told Him To (Photos)

| by Michael Howard

A man in China drove his car into a river while following directions from his GPS.

The accident occurred on April 1 in Anhui, China, according to Shanghaiist. Police arrived on the scene after receiving a call stating that a car had become stuck in a river.

The car's driver explained that he was unfamiliar with the roads in that area and had been using his GPS to navigate them. He said the GPS led him directly into the river.

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A number of rescue vehicles were used to pull the man's car from the water. It took authorities half a day to complete the effort.

On April 7, Mashable uploaded the story to its Facebook account, where it quickly racked up more than 1,500 likes. It has also received well over 100 comments, with people cracking jokes about the driver's blunder and comparing him to the character of Michael Scott from comedy show "The Office," who once drove into a lake while blindly following his GPS.

"Guess he's never seen The Office?" one user joked.

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"I wanna meet the real life Michael Scott!" wrote another.

Others were critical of people who blame technology for such mishaps.

"You run the machine, not the other way around," one person said. "I've lost count of how many times I've had to explain this."

And one user speculated that the man may have simply used his GPS as a convenient excuse: "I would not be surprised if the driver had been drunk and/or on drugs, and tried to blame the GPS."

This isn’t the first real-life Michael Scott incident. In 2012, three Japanese tourists wound up in a muddy bay while trying to drive to North Stradbroke Island in Australia, according to the Redland City Bulletin. In this case, the GPS failed to mention the 9-mile stretch of water separating the island from the mainland.

"It told us we could drive down there," one of the tourists said. "It kept saying it would navigate us to a road. We got stuck ... there's lots of mud."

A year earlier, three Mexican women steered their rental car into a lake while driving back to their hotel in Bellevue, Washington, according to the Seattle Times. It was unclear whether the GPS led them into the water or they misinterpreted the directions, but the vehicle sunk so deep that a tow truck was unable to pull it out.

Sources: Shanghaiist, Mashable/Facebook, Redland City Bulletin, Seattle Times / Photo Credit: NetEase via Shanghaiist

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