Last Sunday, a 19-year old driver fell asleep at the wheel as she was driving on the Chesapeake bay bridge. The bridge has two spans which normally carry one-way traffic in different directions, but on this day, there was two-way traffic because one of the spans was closed for repairs. The car with the sleeping driver drifted unto the oncoming traffic and a collision involving several vehicles sent an 18-wheeler tractor-trailer plunging into the Chesapeake Bay. The driver of the truck was killed. The sleepy driver was hospitalized and was reported to be in good condition.
Sleep deprivation may cause paranoia, hallucinations, as well as cognitive and psychomotor impairments. In one experiment, people who drove after being awake for 17-19 hours performed worse than those with a blood alcohol level of .05 percent, which is the legal limit for drunk driving in many western European countries.
Always get a good night’s sleep before you drive or operate machinery. If you feel tired while driving, stop to rest and take a nap. Think of the consequences. What kind of life will you have after an accident? If you survive, you may end up disabled or feeling guilty for the rest of your life for having injured someone through your negligence.