Google Maps works very well nine times out of ten. It can tell you how much time it will take to get from your point of origin to your destination, which route you should take to get there, and what the traffic is like on the way. Rare as they may be, it can make a mistake, as almost 100 drivers in Colorado found out when they took a detour suggested by Google Maps.
There was a crash on Peña Boulevard leading to Denver International Airport over the weekend. This prompted the app to suggest a detour to users who were to otherwise go through that route. The suggestion was meant to get them out of a traffic jam quickly.
The alternate route which was suggested took drivers down a dirt road which had become a muddy mess after the rain. That’s not something Maps would have taken into account and as soon as the cars went there, they started sliding around in the mud.
Some vehicles couldn’t even make it through and this caused a traffic jam as others who were following the same suggestion lined up behind them. They took Google Maps’ advice to get out of a traffic jam only to find themselves stuck in an even bigger one.
Google said in a statement that the alternative route was suggested because the road wasn’t marked as private. “While we always work to provide the best directions, issues can arise due to unforeseen circumstances such as weather. We encourage all drivers to follow local laws, stay attentive, and use their best judgment while driving,” said a spokesperson for the company.