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Most U.S. Drivers Say a GPS Has Misdirected Them

Travelers Today       By    Katie McFadden

Updated: Jun 17, 2013 05:27 PM EDT

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Many drivers who have used a GPS to guide them have said that the mapping device had led them in the wrong direction.

A survey by Harris Interactive for Michelin Travel and Lifestyle found that 63 percent of U.S. drivers who have used a GPS device have said that the device sent them in the wrong way or gave them a long, complicated or incorrect route to follow.

The survey, which was conducted in April 2013, included the answers of more than 2,200 adults drivers. They claim that the device misled them an average of 4.4 times. This number is higher among 18-34 year old who said they were told the wrong direction an average on 6.3 times. The survey also showed that seven percent of all drivers who use the device have been misdirected more than 10 times.

Only 30 percent of people in the U.S. use GPS devices to get to an unfamiliar place. Other options are maps, printed directions, atlases and guide books. About 40 percent of drivers use those resources.

Nearly half (46 percent) of drivers keep real maps like road maps and atlases in their car. It's no surprise that 57 percent of people ages 55 and older are more likely than any other age to use a regular map or atlas. Only 44 percent of drivers between 45 and 54 use maps, 39 percent of 35-44 year olds use it and 34 percent of 18-34 year old have maps in their cars.

The survey also shows that males are more likely to use a GPS than females at 35 percent to 26 percent. Using a GPS is most popular in the Northeast part of the U.S. as 35 percent of drivers use it there and 25 percent of drivers in the West use a GPS.

"Technology is great, but a printed map is one of the most important tools a traveler in an unfamiliar setting can have-the battery doesn't die, it is easy to use, and it allows you to make decisions on route changes if necessary," said Cynthia Ochterbeck, editorial director of Michelin Travel Partners in a media release.

Other tools that drivers use include smartphones or tablets, as 19 percent said and six percent rely on simple verbal directions from locals. About three percent said they don't rely on anything to find their way around.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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