Home » Archive » Linda's Drive » Page 3

Linda's Drive

Page 3

Neil Blick

The woman’s distorted, reddened face told of her distress. I offered some calming words and suggested she drink from the bottle of water I could see, next to her faded grey sheep-skin driver’s seat. She slowed her breathing enough to answer my few questions. Her name was Linda and she had driven to here from Horsham, two hundred kilometres to the west, she was trying to get to the Geelong Base hospital, almost 100 kilometres south. In a stilted staccato she said, “My-husband, he-had-a-heart attack, he-is-in-hospital”. Each faltering word increased her angst. She had left her home in a rush of panic and continued on her journey, fuelled with the terror that she would be “too-late”.

I checked her GPS directions. She seemed to be accurately on route to Geelong. Although the small screen showed a simple straight blue line to follow, my view revealed an uphill winding, rough road.

Many people have heard or experienced alarming reports of drivers naively obeying GPS directions, only to be guided onto disused roads, private driveways and even cliff edges.  Driving and trusting in the hope of shortening a trip by a few minutes or kilometres, these mobile technologies can take us on perilous journeys. Backroads have become worn-out tracks suffering from high traffic volume, full-sized buses and heavy trucks all swerving and passing oncoming vehicles, with just millimetres to spare. Not a journey for the faint-hearted, frail or distressed. Linda and I were on such a road right now. I looked behind, to see more cars bouncing through potholes, then racing past us on our token roadside refuge.

I managed to gain a picture from her as to what had taken place. At 7.00 am she had received a telephone call from the Geelong Base hospital. Immediately she ran to her car, set her mobile phone GPS onto directions ‘Geelong-Base-hospital-fastest-route’. Then she drove east, leaving her familiar territory for unknown places.

Page 3

This edition