GPS Fail And 'Being Distracted' Turns 145km Trip Into 1450km Journey

I've read plenty of crazy GPS stories, but this has to be the craziest of them all: a 67-year-old woman drove for 1450km over the course of two days because of a GPS error combined with her complete lack of attention. Her actual destination was only 145km away.

Sabine Moreau, 67, started her journey in her home town of Hainault Erquelinnes, Belgium. She wanted to pick up a friend at a train station in Brussels, 145km north from her point of origin. But instead she turned on her GPS, which told her to drive south, taking her turn by turn all the way down to Zagreb in Croatia. Instead of an hour in the car, she spent two days covering the 1450km that separate both points in Europe.

During Sabine's odyssey, she stopped two times to get petrol, slept for a few hours on the side of the road and even suffered a minor car accident. How the hell did this happen without her noticing she was off track? She knows it sounds weird, but she was distracted, she said:

I was distracted, so I kept driving. I saw all kinds of traffic signs, first in French, then German and finally in Croatian, but I kept driving because I was distracted. Suddenly I appeared in Zagreb and I realised I wasn't in Belgium anymore.

Yes, Dorothy, you weren't in Belgium anymore. But as hilarious and zany this may seem, her son wasn't very amused. After a day, he alerted the police. [El Mundo — In Spanish]



    Take away her licence, if she can be distracted for 2 days, she should not be behind the wheel of a car.

    If you're distracted for 5 seconds you shouldn't be behind the wheel of a vehicle!

    What is that they say about women drivers? :)

      I think it says more about the age and attention span of the driver than the gender.

      To top this thread off - please tell me she was driving a Camry... !

    Was she using Apple Maps?

      Have they fixed it or something? My girlfriend has been directing me to a lot of open house inspections recently using Apple Maps and am yet to be given a dodgy direction. After all the furore I was expecting it to be a nightmare. Anyone else notice that or have I just been really lucky?

        It was never really that broken. I used to use it for work until I bought a proper Garmin GPS for my car and it only ever once told me that Perth was in the UK because I misspelt a suburb.

          Yeah fair enough, I figured maybe it wasn't as bad as the media led us to believe, I don't expect a GPS to be perfect, I've used many different ones over the years and they require some common sense. They've all told me to make an illegal turn every now and then. If you're silly enough to drive off a pier (or in this case drive around for days) then it's your own fault.

          Perth IS in the UK.... Canada, USA and Australia
          But Cottesloe is only in Perth Australia (unless I have missed one elsewhere..)...

          Last edited 15/01/13 5:11 pm

        It's when you type non specific addresses that it doesn't work very well. Like if you search for the names of takeaway places, gyms, shopping centres, banks, community centres etc it will give you a dodgy place to go. Sometimes even street names and numbers aren't enough, like I'll get search results in San Diego when the GPS knows I'm in melbourne. So you then have to specify suburb

          So basically put shit in get shit out. Put the right address in, get where you want to go. I haven't actually tried business names, will give it a shot.

        I drive 2 different cars and i used to swap my garmin between both cars all the time, now i just leave it in one and use apple maps in the other. I have never had any issues with the apple maps and i am an electrician working in different places every day.

    Sounds like the early stages of Alzheimer's to me, poor woman.

    One would check the GPS route before heading off. It normally displays the route before you click GO and also the distance. I guess she got distracted there as well.

    I call bs. No way she wouldn't have noticed she was travelling over borders

      But there are no border controls between full EU member states. Haven't been for many years.mThere possibly would have been one between Austria and Croatia, but not between Belgium, Germany and Austria.

        No border controls exist in the border between Austria and Croatia, mostly because those countries do not border each other. You still have Slovenia in between them.

          Details, Graeme,details;) Seriously, thanks for the correct. Haven't been east of Vienna since before the time Slovenia and Croatia were part of Yugoslavia. It's been a while.

    That sounds like the description of someone who is high as a kite. I was distracted so i didn't know i traveled through 4 countries. Yea, sure.

    Distracted by what? Must have been the shiniest bloody thing in existance.

    I would say she is suffering alzhiemers.

    As for iOS maps, as with any GPS navigation common sense is still key. "Oh the local shops are now 300km away? hmm better head off early to get the milk in the morning". Even if the maps are slightly off, or completely off, a reasonable person would still read signs and know when something was wrong. I haven't used iOS maps as I have an SGS3 and find the Google Navigation to be great.

    That's a long chain, for her to get as far from the kitchen as she did!

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