When Satnavs go wrong

When the navigating wonder falls into the wrong hands

Turn left. Then right. You have now arrived at your watery destination. T3 unveils the best Satnav disasters ever

The arrival of the Satnav was supposed to banish the A-Z roadmap to the back seat for good. Instead we’ve now got taxi drivers swapping the 'knowledge' for dashboard mounted navigational pals and people following every single mapping word spoken by their satnav slaves. Guiding you a little more safely, hit the link below to see some major GPS gaffes.

'Old School' Road trip

Day-tripping pensioners got a little more on the itinerary than they bargained for after their coach became wedged down a narrow country lane for nearly four hours. The female coach driver following her sat nav device, managed to give her passengers a view of three countryside fields after getting stuck down a winding single track in Stroat, near Lydney, Gloucestershire, despite being warned off by several local residents of her route to hell.

Read more: Daily Mail

A Lille bit of a mix-up

Sat-nav disaster goes abroad once again as a fifty Chrimbo shoppers eager to snap up some festive bargains in the French provincial town of Lille, instead ended up some 100 miles away from their intended destination and in the similarly named Belgian town Lille. The navigation blunder was eventually resolved arriving at the target destination leaving shoppers only a couple of hours to bargain hunt.

Read more: Daily Mail

A stretch too far

A limousine is always a lavish way to get around of town, but this particular client would have probably opted for the bus, after his driver sent him down a flight of stairs in Salzburg's city centre. En-route to delivering his boss to an appointment with the hairdressers', the sat nav led stretch limo driver thought he could drive directly in to the shop's entrance only to notice that it was a level lower than the street he was driving on. While the limo had to retrieved by crane, the passenger managed to get his short back and sides.

Read more: Austrian Times

Bus by water

If you are ever in need of a minibus driver in the area of Norfolk, this chap should perhaps be low down on your call list. Having followed his sat nav word for word not only did the taxi driver proceed to drive into the river, but continued to listen intently and driving a further 200 yards before his Volkswagen Caravel got wedged in the riverbed. Fortunately the eight-seater minibus was not carry anyone at the time.

Read more: Daily Mail


Mistaking a steep, narrow path, for the edge of a cliff was almost a fatal sat nav blunder for one baffling driver. Mr Jones, from Doncaster came close to teetering off the edge of a 100ft cliff in Todmodern, West Yorkshire. Police officers found Mr Jones and his BMW hanging close to sure fatality but managed to rescue him at which point he was consequently slapped with a hefty fine for driving without due care and attention.

Read more: BBC

Drive-by damage

Something of an unwanted P.O.I, Amanda Sandland's country house has been ploughed into by lorry drivers an astonishing 15 times in over 18 years. HGV drivers have largely been at fault for doing damage to Mrs Sandland's country abode travelling down the narrow B5429 lane alongside it which is suggested by many sat navs as a useful shortcut. This has however meant more than a few close shaves with Mrs Sandland's roof and other beloved parts of her home.

Read more: BBC

Hard rock of Gibraltar

While for most there is more than a subtle difference between Gibraltar Point in Skegness and the Rock of Gibraltar, for one goods driver it wasn't that obvious. The Syrian lorry driver managed to travel from Turkey to nearly 2,000 miles away from his intended destination landing him in the iconic British seaside town.

Read more: Telegraph

In GPS we trust

An ambulance crew flashed their lights all the way to Manchester, when they managed to turn a 20 minute patient transfer into a 400-mile round trip. Placing full faith in their piece of navigational tech, the crew were meant to drive the eight mile journey from King George's Hospital in Ilford to the mental health unit in Mascalls Park Hospital in Brentwood. 200 miles away from their destination they then decided to turn back, where they were told to learn some geography and perhaps look at the odd road sign or two. Incidentally the patient did survive.

Read more: Daily Mail

Lack of Sense

Placing seemingly blind faith on her electronic dash-mounted passenger, a driver named only as Hayley, began her route to madness by guiding her car up a farmer's lane. Following that she proceeded down the path despite the sign posts alerting drivers to the unsuitable nature of the surface, then tried to cross a ford at which point her vehicle was swept some 600 yards down the River Sense. Hayley was saved, however her Mercedes SL500 was not so lucky.

Read more: This is London

Lost in translation

Proof that not all sat navs are prepared for England's finest rural country lanes, a Czech lorry driver managed to wedge his 40-tonne articulated lorry into a tight spot after taking perennial guidance from his sat nav. The driver who spoke little English, tried to get directions before putting his trust in his navigational friend, but found himself sleeping in his vehicle for three nights as his lorry remained wedged on a sharp bend near IvyBridge in Devon.

Read more: Times Online

Off the beaten track

In a sat nav debut she would rather forget, student Paula Ceeley followed her route all the way onto a railway track where her car was smashed into by an oncoming train. En-route to see her boyfriend in Carmarthenshire, Ceeley approached a large metal gate which she mistook for a farmers' gate. She then pulled her car forward and when she went to pull the gate shut she could only stand back as the Pembroke Dock to Swansea train carried her Renault Clio 800m down the track. Fortunately she did not return back to her vehicle and has now swapped the tarmac for the train tracks for her future travel excursions.

Read more: BBC

One way to destruction

What do you do when your truck has left a £20,000 trail of destruction? Perhaps blame your sat nav as a Belgian truck driver chose to do, when he caused havoc in a cul-de-sac in Wadebridge, Cornwall. When his path began to narrow, the panic-struck driver put hit foot on it and began his mini destruction episode by ploughing over a mini roundabout, trapping a car under his lorry and doing damage to five more vehicles. The total damage was a whopping £50,000 and presumably one sat nav in the bin.

Read more: Daily Mail

Royal navigational cock-up

With one too many cars in the garage, the Duchess of York decided to sell off her Jaguar XJ6 which she auctioned for £12,000. Along with the usual collection of change down the back of the seat, the more priceless find was the sat nav with full memory still in tact, which had left the device packed with information regarding the route to Fergie's home and directions to Princesses Beatrice's boyfriend's house.

Read more: The Sun

Sat nav raid

While the navigational tech can be dangerous in the wrong hands, in the hands of dangerous idiots it's a one way ticket to some serious jail time as a notorious gang of armed robbers found out to their dismay. Adrian Johnson had tapped in the addresses of 12 banks into his sat nav where robberies had recently taken place. When the device was located by police it provided them with crucial evidence to linking the gang to previous hold-ups.

Read more: Mirror

School trip to nowhere

With pack lunches and 60 excitable school kids piled on to a coach for a day trip to Hampton Court Palace, the coach driver was the one who had forgotten to do his homework after following his sat nav into a side street in Islington called Hampton Court as opposed to the venue in Richmond-upon-Thames. The miscalculated route was only realised when the sightseeing appeared to extend only to the delights of Highbury and Islington underground station.

Read more: Telegraph

Splash nav

We love them for offering us alternative routes to getting to our destination, yet sometimes it's worth persevering with the tried and tested journey as drivers near Luckinkton, Wiltshire found out.

With a crumbling wall blocking drivers from the usual way around, many sat navs were offering an alternative solution which included driving to a ford that was actually the River Avon. More than a handful of sat nav led motorists were met with the same watery surprise having taken the sat nav directed detour.

Read more: Times Online

Trip to ze loo

Take your sat nav word for word with no application of common sense alongside it and you are simply asking for trouble. Take one German motorist who we can only assume decided not to look when he was ordered to 'turn right now' by his sat nav only to make a sharp 90 degree turn off the road driving into a building site, up a stairway and finally into a portaloo. Thankfully the toilet facility was vacant, and the driver was slapped unsurprisingly with a large fine.

Read more: The Register

Under construction

Possibly why the elderly and technology are not always a match made in driving heaven, an 80-year-old German motorist with sat nav in place proceeded to follow its instructions to head towards a construction site clearly marked 'closed for construction'. Several meandering manoeuvres around warning signs later, the struggling driver then ploughed into a sandbank unhurt, and possibly wishing he had stayed in that day.

Read more: Drivers

Village sign off on sat navs

In a good old fashioned bout of rallying the troops, residents of a small village in Glamorgan were so fed up with lorry drivers tearing up their narrow streets, that they decided to put together their own signs to show their frustration at heavy goods vehicles following their sat navs into their beloved roads, with many of them regularly getting stuck.

Read more: Mirror

We're on our way to the wrong Bridge

No true Blue could ever admit to such a geographical faux-pas, but a cab driver carrying Earl Spencer's daughter Katya as a passenger was asked to deliver her and her guests to the West London based football ground. Some 146 miles later, they were not mingling with Mr Abramovich in the good seats but in a small village in North Yorkshire called Stamford Bridge, as Chelsea beat Arsenal 2-1 at the other Bridge.

Read more: Daily Mail