The ability to use GPS, or SatNav if you're British, is a modern convenience that boggles the mind for those of us who managed to travel without it for years. However, there's still value in learning to navigate the old-fashioned way, with hard copy maps, a trained sense of direction, and the willingness to ask for directions. Those skills might lead you to a nagging suspicion that Google Maps isn't leading you in the right direction, and it's time to double check. If you place too much trust in your map app, you could learn better by reading some chilling stories of complete failure.
In 2017, 24-year-old [Amber] VanHecke had embarked on a solo trip to the Grand Canyon. In the middle of the Arizona desert, she noticed that she only had 70 miles' worth of gas left in the tank. Not an issue, as her Google Maps reassured her that she was only 35 miles away from a highway. Trusting Google, she obediently followed the app to bring her safely to civilization. Instead, Google told her to turn onto a completely nonexistent road, which led her to a nonexistent spot on the map. And then she ran out of gas.
VanHecke spent five days in the desert before help arrived. Unlike most travelers, she had a supply of water and food in her car. Read her story and six others at Cracked.
(Image credit: Arizona Department of Public Safety)