What is up with all the U-Turns Garmin

I’m not sure what is up with the Garmin lady. But she has a habit that honestly could get someone killed if they listened to her. Unfortunately a few years ago on the way to Gnomedex I saw the damage someone doing a U-Turn can do. Not until we got home did we find out that the lady Cheryl and others had stopped to help didn’t make it that day. We asked several clerks at the front desk of our hotel the next morning if they knew anything. Neither Cheryl or myself could remember exactly where the accident had taken place.

Last year we drove that same stretch of road. We didn’t come across any memorials on the other side of the highway. It was frustrating not remembering exactly were the crash had been. I’m sure many of you could care less about any of the above. I’d venture to say that the same number of you don’t feel anything is wrong with doing a U-Turn. I just hope that one day your not the reason someone loses their life.

So why does the Garmin lady even recommend this maneuver? Not only is it illegal in many places. It could in fact put the driver and passengers in the car using a Garmin product at risk. This could also lead to the situation that I have shared above. What is even more aggravating about this is the fact that the Garmin lady could have easily given safe directions to get you to your destination.

While I have found several features of our new Garmin GPS to be useful. The fact that the voice of Garmin is giving unsafe advice concerns me. Do other GPS units do this as well? Are you told to make a U-Turn when a safe left can be made that isn’t taking you away from your intended stop? Garmin has this big safety warning you have to agree to each time you turn the unit on. If the company is worried about customer safety why is the voice navigation giving unsafe driving instructions? If someone wasn’t familiar with an area this could cause some serious problems. I’d venture a guess that most people┬ápurchase a GPS unit to navigate in areas that they don’t live in. Blindly following the Garmin GPS voice could in fact have these people involved in a situation they would like to avoid.

I’m hoping that the recent map update I’m installing now may resolve some issues I saw this evening. Many well known locations in various cities are missing from the Garmin database. Others are there but very hard to find. Even with this in mind I would be pretty happy with my recent purchase if it wasn’t for the voice of Garmin telling Cheryl to make U-Turns several times this evening. This took place even after a recalculation had supposedly been done by the unit.

Cheryl and I will be travelling through that part of Iowa were we saw the U-Turn crash in just a couple of days. The year we saw this horrible accident we also saw two others. One on the way out to Seattle and one on the way back. Both of those were very serious rollover crashes. The young kid walked away but we never found out about his condition later. When coming home an Asian man had flipped his vehicle as well. Once again we never found out what happened to him.

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Update 8/13/08

I should have included this within the original article. The Avoidances option was enabled at the time. Under that setting U-Turns was in fact selected. So something either is wrong with the unit or this setting is just being ignored for some reason. Either way suggesting a U-Turn on a fairly major highway instead of stating to turn left at the light that is coming up seems like a big flaw in the design of the GPS unit.

1 thought on “What is up with all the U-Turns Garmin”

  1. I would also prefer GPS’s not recommend u-turns (yes, others do it as well). However, anyone who blindly follows the directions of their GPS, regardless of if they know the area, is not capable of shouldering the responsibility of driving a vehicle. All GPS’s recalculate routes if you don’t follow them exactly and anyone driving should be capable of understanding a u-turn request means turn around, and can decide how and when to do so.

    Yes, uturns are a bad idea, but let’s take some responsibility here, if you make one, it was YOUR decision.

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