I do get what you are saying FL.
And I'm glad this topic has been raised, it's good stuff to think about.
As someone who has had chronic fatigue syndrome and lives 800km from family, it is really not as simple as it sounds in practice.
I'm a lot better now, but no doubt I have driven when I really shouldn't have in the past. Short of having a full time carer move in with me and the kids I really don't know what else I could have done though!
I don't think my situation would be unique either... what about people on medications that dull your reflexes? what about people suffering from anxiety/depression and the 'brain fog' that can cause?
It's tricky. Good to think about though.
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15-11-2013 11:12 #11Senior Member
- Join Date
- Mar 2008
15-11-2013 11:21 #12
I've never felt so fatigued that I couldn't drive... but then I've only been driving for a very short time really.
15-11-2013 11:32 #13Senior Member
- Join Date
- Nov 2013
Hubby works long hours and will fall asleep sitting up at the drop of a hat! So when he has worked long hours, I will always drive. He often says to me that he doesn't feel comfortable driving.
I have only ever felt like I was going to fall asleep at the wheel once and I rang hubby so he could talk to me the whole way and keep me awake. I unfortunately didn't have a choice as I needed to be somewhere at a certain time and it could not be rescheduled or avoided.
Married to my soul mate, Mummy to one beautiful little girl, wishing for a little boy to complete our family.
15-11-2013 11:48 #14
Just thought I'd add... I get why people were getting defensive. There are times when it is incredibly difficult or inconvenient to avoid driving. If you're chronically sleep deprived and have little to no support, then choosing not to drive might mean making life incredibly difficult for yourself. That doesn't make you any less responsible if you injure or kill someone.
I think it's worth acknowledging that most of us don't always choose the most responsible course of action. We often make choices that might negatively affect others, but which have a significant positive effect on our own lives (so think through consumerism, buying prepackaged foods rather than growing our own, driving rather than walking where we could do both, etc). We decide that, on balance, it's worth the damage/risk. Fine. That doesn't make us any less responsible for the outcomes.
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Little Miss Sunshine (15-11-2013)
15-11-2013 11:56 #15
I have a friend who fell asleep at the wheel after driving for 4hrs straight (doesn't seem that long right?) after a normal nights sleep. She thought it wouldn't happen to her, a truck driver found her car in a hidden ditch down the side of a country road. She doesn't remember falling asleep or leaving the road. She remembers feeling weary from the drive. She is so lucky to be alive.
I remember when my first child was a couple of months old, I went to the shops to pick up some groceries, left bub at home with hubby. I got to the shops and realised that I didn't remember getting there or where I parked - it was very scary. I don't drive sleep deprived now, it isn't worth it. Ever heard of micro-sleep? You can't control it!
15-11-2013 12:08 #16
I have only driven truly fatigued once, and I did fall asleep at the wheel. I was 17 at the time, and 11 years later the lesson I learnt that day has not been forgotten. I simply do not drive if I am remotely close to that point anymore.
Having said that, I am not a person that needs a great deal of sleep. I have gotten less than 5 hours and felt well rested in the mornings many times.
15-11-2013 13:44 #17
I am another who has fallen asleep at the wheel. It was terrifying. I worked a full day and then tried to drive from Logan to Hervey Bay. As I was passing the big Matilda near gympie, my friend text me and said not to eat as she had made burritos so for some reason I didn't stop. Soon after I started to feel drowsy and thought I would stop at the next petrol station. I never made it to the next petrol station. I veered off the road and woke up as my car hit one of those little white reflector posts, I managed to swerve around a sign post and hit another reflector post before stopping. I am damn lucky to be alive. It could have been so much worse . Two guys saw it happen and when I got out of the car they looked like they had seen a ghost. They thought I would be severely injured or dead.
Obviously this changes my view on it. I avoid driving tired where possible. Occasionally it is unavoidable but it most certainly is a last resort. I have stopped 15 minutes away from my house before because I wasn't sure I would make it home. Always take the break if you need it.
15-11-2013 13:45 #18
Have never driven sleep deprived with DD - thankfully if we have had a bad night we haven't needed to go anywhere the next day.
but before I had her years ago I used to work in a motel as a receptionist/cook - after a long shift there were so many nights where I would be driving home at midnight with all the windows down, music blasting, anything to keep me awake. If I was really struggling I would get out of the car for 2 mins, walk around then jump back in. No, it wasn't ideal, I didn't like driving that tired and understood the risks but I had to get home from work, don't really know what else I could have done.
15-11-2013 13:51 #19Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jun 2009
If I was that tired that I couldn't take the kids to school, id probably just keep us all home until I felt better.
I've microslept once on a 6am drive home from a night club. I wasn't drunk but I remember falling asleep behind the wheel a few times b4 I reached home.
I promised myself then that I'd never do it again.
If I, as a result of fatigue qhilst driving killed or injured a child, my life wouldn't be worth living anymore.
15-11-2013 14:03 #20
I will admit I was arguing against this in the other thread- that sometimes people don't have any other choices- (usually those who live out of large areas and don't have access to things like online shopping) but I do have to say that I was talking from my own experience. And, as such, I wasn't thinking we were talking about being *that* sleep deprived you were on par with being drunk.
I don't believe I have ever been beyond the point of exhaustion and gotten behind the wheel, luckily. I seem to cope with sleep deprivation pretty well.
I can understand if others do it out of necessity, but it doesn't mean I think it's acceptable. It's really tough being put between a hard place and a rock- 'I need to get xyz, but I'm so tired.. but if I don't get this done, then abc will happen' etc. It's not an enviable position at all and I guess in an ideal world we would all have our 'community' around us to help out, but unfortunately it's a luxury very few seem to have these days.
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