Google Maps might be an incredibly convenient technology, but it’s not perfect, and sometimes you shouldn’t rely on it.
Like when it asks you to drive through a dirt road in the middle of a farmer’s field to get to the airport.
On June 24th in Aurora, Colorado, a crash on Peña Boulevard caused a massive traffic jam. What was worse was that Peña Boulevard is one of the main roads leading to Denver International Airport, so people are going to be desperate to get there or else miss their flight.
So when this pileup caused a 2-hour delay in reaching the airport, desperate drivers turned to Google Maps to get them a faster detour. And Google provided, as it always does, but this detour wasn’t quite as fast as people were expecting.
From Peña Boulevard, it directed drivers to a side road that started off paved but then turned to gravel and then dirt and mud. Recent rains caused the road surface to deteriorate to the point where a few cars at the front of the detour pack got stuck, and this caused yet another traffic jam.
According to Connie Monsees in an interview with NBC News, roughly 100 cars were stuck behind thanks to the muddy road. However, she was one of the lucky ones with all-wheel-drive. She was able to escape the pack and get back onto the road in order to reach the airport, offering a ride to two other stuck passengers with flights to catch along the way.
"We take many factors into account when determining driving routes, including the size of the road and the directness of the route," Google said in a statement. "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."
Traffic jams suck, but technology isn’t always the answer. Sometimes the best course of action is to just sit and wait. At least until flying cars are a thing.