Why I love technology

Today we drove from Cadillac, MI to Nashville, TN. It should have taken 10 hours, but it took eleven. We are quite thankful to have only been delayed by an hour, and we owe those thanks to technology. As we cruised through Indianapolis, I glimpsed a flashing sign that said something like “accident on SB I-65, closed at mile 50, seek alternate route”. The 50 mile marker was a good hour away so I cruised onward. We scanned the AM frequency several times looking for more traffic info and found nothing.

Once out of Indianapolis, I used my laptop and cellular Internet connection to Google “I-65 accident Indiana” and got no results. It hadn’t made the news wire yet so the flashing sign back in Indianapolis was the only clue that something was amiss. At mile marker 55, I noticed brake lights and a two lane parking lot where the Interstate should be. I noticed it just in time to catch an off ramp.

Southern Indiana consists of narrow single lane roads and lots of corn fields. We followed the traffic for a while on the most obvious alternate route. As the miles long procession crawled along, it became obvious that it was going to take a very long time (hours) to make it to the next freeway ramp. This is where technology saved the day.

Thanks to a GPS receiver and Route 66 (my mapping software) I had complete maps of the area, and I knew exactly where we were. I veered away from traffic and charted a course through the corn fields down country back roads scarcely a lane wide. My alternate route ended up being about 10 miles longer than the other option but was largely untraveled and much faster.

Today on I-65, motorists fell into four camps. The tragic were involved in the accident. The unfortunate didn’t see the warning sign(s) nor the sea of brake lights until they were stuck in miles of parked cars. The fortunate motorists detoured early, or got lucky and were able to get off the freeway. Of the fortunate, only the enlightened few had suitable maps of the area, or knew the area well enough to get through with only a minor setback. We were through Kentucky and into Tennessee before the State Troopers hoped to get traffic moving.

It wasn’t until late this evening that information became available. At about 9:30AM, a car had a blowout. A truck driver swerved and lost control of his truck. He crossed the median and Southbound lanes and was killed when his truck collided with a guard rail. At 3pm traffic was backed up at least 5 miles. Police hoped to have the scene cleared and traffic moving by 6PM.

Today, we were fortunate. Alert driving spotted the backup, luck provided an exit ramp, and technology allowed us to navigate through the corn fields and back to the freeway.

7 Replies to “Why I love technology”

  1. i agree..for work i use my laptop and Microsoft streets and trips for my GPS, works great…i love the fact you avoided that traffic by thinking ahead…forget traffic…

  2. Praise God for giving you the brain to think ahead, the brains to the people who developed the technology and not “luck” but a blessing that there was an exit ramp for you. 🙂

    Full steam ahead!!!

  3. This is strange. On Wednesday, July 27, I saw the same sign in Indianapolis, and hit the same traffic backup at Seymour (the 50 mile mark). What day was the 9:30 blow out? Today?? Because I found your site trying to find out after the fact what the problem Wednesday was, as I had heard it was a police shooting. I haven’t found anything about that. Until you said “9:30 blow out” I was thinking whatever the problem was, it was still there since Wednesday…

    Anyway, I too was lucky enough to catch the exit just before the traffic jam too, and found an alternate route with a good ol’ paper map (not that I mean to give the impression I’m a luddite 😉 ), but not before wasting time on SR 50 in Seymour trying to get back to I-65 only to find both of it’s ramps onto 65 south closed too… Back to 11 and down to 250 and back to 65, that worked. Also only delayed for an hour.

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