Drowsy Driving and the Long Commute

Driving to work last week I was surprised by a Coyote running across the road in front of the car. Of course wildlife is common and that wasn’t too surprising. What was surprising was that as the car approached and he got spooked, he turned tail and ran back across the road in front of the car again! Fortunately for him it was early morning and we were awake enough to save his skin. Still I wonder what might have happened if we were coming home from work – drowsy driving is a big problem and one many people are susceptible to, especially with long commutes at each end of a full day at work.

Asleep at the wheel?

By 5 pm we’re naturally starting to feel tired and yawning is common. Couple the long day with comfortable seats, music, and the hum of the car on the road – it almost becomes hypnotic. And then, unfortunately, it causes accidents. Of course we all have good insurance to protect our vehicles, but that doesn’t fix the harm we can do to ourselves or others.

How big a problem is drowsy driving?

defensive driving in traffic

According to the National Sleep Foundation, it’s huge! 60% of people drive while drowsy and one in three have fallen asleep while driving. As my granddad used to tell us when we thought we were good drivers, “you’re only as safe as the other driver”. And if the other driver is asleep, that may not be very safe at all.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration conservatively estimates that 100,000 police-reported crashes are the direct result of driver fatigue each year. This results in an estimated 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries, and $12.5 billion in monetary losses. These figures may be the tip of the iceberg, since currently it is difficult to attribute crashes to sleepiness.

Of course, as drowsy driving is such a big safety topic, we have a course to help you. Even if you don’t take it, at least take a nap! Better to turn up late than in an ambulance.

About Tony Howarth

Tony is a First Aid & CPR Instructor Trainer with Sea 2 Sky Safety Training Services and the company founder. Tony started with the British Red Cross in 1994. Has acted as first aid attendant for hundreds of events & treated many hundreds of people as a result. He is experienced in training a wide range of courses. He previously worked as an ambulance attendant with the British Red Cross. He is now in BC as a first aid instructor, and an instructor trainer (one who trains others to become instructors) Finally, Tony works at UBC Hospital as a pharmacist when not busy training safety
This entry was posted in News, safety and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Go on.... say something smart:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s