Google Maps: useful, but not always the best thing to follow blindly, as dozens of Colorado drivers learned the hard way Sunday. As Connie Monsees explains to ABC News, she was on her way to Denver International Airport to pick up her husband when she ran into a traffic jam. She tells the Denver Channel that her Google Maps app suggested a detour that was supposed to take half the time. She took the detour, and apparently, by her estimate, about 100 other cars did the same—not realizing the alternate route eventually ended up on a dirt road. It had been raining all weekend, so the cars ended up having to maneuver through "a muddy mess of a field," with many of them sliding around or getting stuck in ditches that were slick from the state's clay soil. U-turns weren't possible because the road is only wide enough for one car at a time.
The drive, which typically takes Monsees 90 minutes round-trip, took her three and a half hours. Her all-wheel-drive vehicle performed better in the conditions than many of the other cars on the road, and she ended up picking up two other people who were trying to get to the airport. They both made their flights. Monsees says she blames human nature, not Google, for the jam: "I think as a society we ... are too wrapped up in trying to just do things quick." As for Google, it says in a statement to ABC, "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." See a picture of the off-roading drivers at ABC. (Annoyed rancher to lots of hikers: Google Maps is wrong.)