Over the River and Through the Woods . . .

Next week is Thanksgiving and next month is jam-packed with holidays! For some families this can mean traveling to see family out of town or even out of state!

Now is also about the time that bad weather and everything that comes with it – like road closures – start happening more and more!

Before everyone heads out for the holiday season, we’d like to remind everyone of the dangers of using GPS.

Don’t get us wrong, GPS readily available in our cars and on our phones is AMAZING. We use ours all the time – sometimes even on calls!

Problems with GPS mainly occur when something unexpected or out of the ordinary occurs that shuts down roads – like bad weather or a car crash.

GPS might not update immediately and will try to initially route you through these closed areas. When the GPS is updated or you force it to re-route, they will normally take you on maintained roads and state highways that are alternatives (yes, usually a bit or a long longer) to the one that is closed.

Sometimes though, something goes wrong and GPS will try to take you through roads that are not maintained, such as forest service or old logging roads.

This is incredibly dangerous! Do NOT follow GPS onto roads that are not maintained! It can be a deadly mistake to follow your GPS’s directions onto these roads.

In the winter, these roads end up with multiple feet of snow. There are no gas stations anywhere. People often get stuck.

Because of their remote location, these roads often have little to no cell coverage. This combined with the fact that these routes are not the routes you would normally have traveled on or alerted people you would be taking, means that it can be difficult to find you. Searches for families on these sorts of roads can take days.

Wherever you travel this winter season, please remember to stay on maintained roads and state highways! Follow your common sense and not your GPS!

And before you head out, make sure you have completed your winter car maintenance and that you are awake enough to drive! We want everyone to get where they are headed safely!

Thanks to Oregon State Police for this week’s featured photo!

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