Most Drivers Who Used GPS Got Lost, Michelin Survey Finds

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Remember when you would miss a turn and go around in circles because your GPS said, “Turn left now” about five seconds too late? You’re not alone. 63 percent of US drivers who have used GPS report having been led astray by confusing or incorrect directions given by their navigation systems, according to a recent Michelin survey.

On average, U.S. drivers were misdirected 4.4 times by GPS. The survey, conducted online in April 2013 by Harris Interactive for Michelin Travel and Lifestyle, polled more than 2,200 US adults. And the survey found that good old physical maps and printed directions were still the most preferred option for some 40 percent of Americans when traveling to unfamiliar destinations.

“Technology is great, but a printed map is one of the most important tools a traveler in an unfamiliar setting can have,” said editorial director of Michelin Travel Partners Cynthia Ochterbeck.

“The battery doesn’t die, it is easy to use, and it allows you to make decisions on route changes if necessary,” said Ochterbeck.

GPS was the second most popular option for travel aids, coming in with 30 percent of the votes. Smartphones and tablet devices were used by 19 percent of respondents while 6 percent rely on verbal directions from locals in the area. Three percent of respondents don’t use any travel aids at all when traveling to unfamiliar locations. 

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Cherlynn Low
Cherlynn Low
Cherlynn joined the Laptopmag team in June 2013 and has since been writing about all things tech and digital with a focus on mobile and Internet software development. She also edits and reports occasionally on video. She graduated with a M.S. in Journalism (Broadcast) from Columbia University in May 2013 and has been designing personal websites since 2001.
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