Don't Rely on your GPS To Keep You From Cliffs on VacaySomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


Don't Rely on your GPS To Keep You From Cliffs on Vacay

13 August 2008 at 10:02:01 AM

Read the other day about some Utah tourists who, for some reason, instead of trying to, um, follow a MAP, decided it was a good idea to use a GPS to "plot out a backcountry route from Bryce Canyon National Park to the Grand Canyon. (via Millard Fillmore's Bathtub) No. It wasn't.

Cohen said the group had no idea it was setting off in the wrong direction.

"A friend with navigation device said we should go that way, and we all went that went," he said. "I had no clue where we were, I can tell you that. But the next day when we saw the airplane, we were jumping."

Glover said a GPS device is no substitute for good judgment or detailed topographical maps.

"People can start down a nice, graded dirt road and it can soon turn into boulders and deep washes, but they continue driving instead of turning around. I don't understand it," Glover told The Salt Lake Tribune. "The shortest way is not always the quickest way."

I referenced in a recent post a book I got this summer while visiting the Grand Caynon, entitled "Death in the Grand Canyon"-it's fascinating reading to see how people somehow get disoriented or cocksure and don't think bad things will happen to THEM if they don't follow warning or prepare adequately.

Along the same line, there was an interesting study that came our recently about just WHY people perish needlessly in emergencies, from a study by J Leach and L Ansell entitled "Impairment in attentional processing in a field survival environment".

The stress caused by an emergency situation impairs people's attentional control, leaving them unable to pursue the actions necessary for their survival. That's according to John Leach and Louise Ansell who said their research helps explain "at least one anomaly that exists in survivorship: why so many people perish when there is no need". The pair cite the example of air crash passengers who fail to withhold inflating their life-jackets until the appropriate time, thus imperiling their lives....
This form of cognitive impairment makes flexible interaction with the survival environment difficult and the victim’s behaviour becomes dominated by environmental cues at the expense of wilful, goal-directed survival behaviour," the researchers concluded. "The often witnessed result is of a victim who is cognitively unable to aid his own survival."

In the initial instance about the people relying on the GPS, and some examples in the Grand Canyon book, it seems like there are some that get confused by where they are, and there was someone to reassure and say, let's just rely on the GPS, for example. As in "cognitively unable to aid in his own survival.".

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