GPS Leads To Trucker Troubles

Posted at 7:37 PM, Oct 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-25 20:39:45-04

Faulty or tricky GPS directions have been blamed for multiple wrecks involving semi trucks in Middle Tennessee.

Before firefighters in Columbia respond to a call, they check and double check their directions.

Much like big rigs their trucks may not fit on every road or under every overpass. One trucker found out the hard way Monday, some roads are not meant to be driven on.

"Wasn't going to make that turn, not at all," Columbia Assistant Fire Chief Ty Cobb explained. 

A tanker hauling 4,500 gallons of motor oil overturned on Ridgetop Road near Hampshire after attempting to navigate a sharp curve.

Emergency crews spent 12 hours cleaning up the wreck. The driver is ok, he told officials his GPS routed him the wrong way. "Took his GPS for granted, kind of got distracted and went down the wrong route in some unfamiliar territory on a county back road," Cobb said. 

The same thing happened in March in Wilson County. The driver of semi truck transporting 420 beehives overturned on Posey Hill Road. That driver too, said GPS routed him the wrong way.

"The GPS helps out quite a bit, you can't trust them but they're a real good tool," trucker, James Wilson said. 

Wilson has been on the road for 22 years. He knows first hand how GPS can get truckers in some trouble. "If you don't watch it they'll try to run you down a road, they'll get you there and they might run you through some cow trails," Wilson laughed. 

Wilson relies on several sets of instructions to get him to where he needs to be, "I call for directions and then the company I work for, when they give you a trip they include the directions, and I set my GPS up and I go by it too. So I use three different things."

Officials said GPS is a very helpful tool, but it shouldn't be the only one you use. "I think we rely on it a lot but again don't forget the basics," said Cobb.