Over-reliance on GPS leads to ….

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Updated Jun 9, 2019

We’ve all heard the stories of trucks stuck on pedestrian bridges, wedged into old covered bridges, cinched into the curves of cowpaths, the sometimes dramatic tales of logging roads to nowhere and a fight for survival … after following a computerized turn-by-turn navigation system into a place an 80,000-lb. truck driver ought not to be. But last week I happened on a new one (tip of the hat to my Truckers News colleague David Hollis for this one).

It comes by way of a story in the UK-based Telegraph newspaper about a hypothesis conjured up by British author and former diplomat David Barrie. Barrie threw down a new marker for where our over-reliance on turn-by-turn navigation might be leading.

Electronic GPS navigation aids, as wrote Telegraph Science Editor Sarah Knapton, “could be damaging people’s brains and may even contribute to the development of Alzheimer’s disease.”

Essentially, Barrie argues that underdevelopment of the part of the brain where humanity’s highly developed navigation abilities are housed could well be the result of increasingly ubiquitous nav cheats. That underdevelopment might also, he speculated, serve to send us a step back in warding off the advance of the degenerative brain diseases of old age.

As he told Knapton, “Our hunter gather ancestors relied exclusively on their senses and their wits to find their way around.”

A lot of truckers, too, as recent poll results from here at OverdriveOnline.com showed.

Do you rely on GPS navigation for your routing?

There’s good news in this poll, too, when you compare these results to a nearly identical question asked of Overdrive readers in 2012, when a good deal larger share of readers reported using GPS navigation more exclusively.

Which begs the question for you non-GPS routers: Do you feel witty today, drivah?