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Man Follows Waze, Drives Jeep Down Boat Launch into Lake

The man swears that there was a heavy fog, it was dark, and the Waze app led him to drive off a boat launch and into the water.

Technology can be a dangerous thing. And I’m not talking about smart bombs or drones or anything like that. I’m talking about technology that people use every day. You have to remember, your smart phone is not meant to be a replacement for your common sense. As such, you shouldn’t just blindly follow what the GPS is telling you, otherwise, you could end up driving into a lake. Enter Tara Guertin.

According to First Coast News, Tara lent her Jeep to three friends from Connecticut who were doing some sight-seeing in the Vermont town of Burlington. They used the Waze app to figure out how to get around. Waze uses turn-by-turn GPS directions combined with user reports of accidents, traffic jams, and speed traps, to offer up the most efficient route from point A to point B.

Her friends say the app directed her friends to turn onto the boat launch near the U.S. Coast Guard station. Apparently, it was dark and foggy, and the three friends wound up driving 100 feet into the lake before they realized they’d made a terrible mistake.

Burlington Police Chief Brandon del Pozo confirmed that the driver was not intoxicated. The officer at the scene, Padric Hartnett, said the driver willingly consented to field sobriety exercises and passed with no problem. The driver said there was a “heavy fog and slight rain” at the time of the incident and that the boat launch was poorly lit.

Here’s the boat launch near the U.S. Coast Guard office where the man drove into the lake, Google Earth

Well, yeah, it’s a boat launch not a billboard of course it was poorly lit. Also, I’m pretty sure that Waze shows not only turn-by-turn directions but also a snapshot of a map. How hard was it to figure out that you were near a lake? Perhaps the rolling fog should have been a dead giveaway that there may be water nearby.

A Waze representative wasn’t able to explain how the car ended up in the lake, saying that, “It’s impossible to comment here without seeing the user’s driving file and we haven’t received permission to do so- generally speaking, Waze maps are updated with millions of edits to adapt to real time road conditions daily, often making them the most accurate available.”

I can’t wait until it gets the driving file on this one. Too bad it doesn’t have an audio recording. I’d bet a hundred dollars the last thing he said wasn’t “Where are we?” but “Watch this.”