Monday, December 17, 2012

Are you one of the Seven Dwarfs?.....Sleepy?

So it is Monday morning, the beginning of a new work week. You have had a great weekend with friends and family, far too much fun and not enough sleep.  The day ahead is full of meetings and you are exhausted.  But you think you will be fine, you have driven to work like this before, it is not a big deal.


Driving requires your full attention, you must be alert at all times, as if someones life depends on it. Well it does.  The 60 kilometer average commute to Toronto from the suburbs takes over an hour, this is not accounting for any collisions or traffic delays that may occur.  Rush hour traffic is the bane of our existence. As you sit there stuck behind a vehicle, and you haven't moved in 30 seconds or you are at a traffic light and have been sitting still for a minute. Your eyes start to get heavy, you think that you can shut them for a few seconds, it's not a big deal.


Everyone deals with schedules that are far too busy, and there are not enough hours in the day to get things done.  Shopping, taking the kids to extracurricular activities appointments and any of 100 other things.  So you stay up later getting that work done, sacrificing your sleep trying to free up time for other things you need to do.  You will just get more sleep on the weekend, make up for the sleep you have missed, it's not a big deal.


Adults require 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Studies have shown that lack of sleep can lead to serious health issues and put your safety and the safety of individuals around you at risk. Lack of sleep is also associated with an increased risk of motor vehicle collisions and other serious health concerns.

I ask you, do you want to be responsible for the injury or death of a person?

You are probably thinking that it won't happen to you.


A person who suffers a microsleep episode is usually unaware of it, or believes that they just weren't paying attention.  

A microsleep is an episode of sleep which may last for a fraction of a second or up to thirty seconds.

Microsleeps can be caused by a number of things and sleep deprivation is one of them. Microsleep episodes can be very dangerous when they occur while operating a vehicle. Assume a vehicle is travelling on a highway at 100 km/h (27.7 meters per second) and an individual suffers an episode that lasts 30 seconds, it would be the equivalent of driving a vehicle blindfolded for 831 meters.

Is that a chance you want to take?

If you find yourself in a situation where you are exhausted and are getting drowsy while operating a vehicle, find a safe place to stop so you can take a nap. Let your family know that you are stopping and will be late so they are not concerned for your well being.

The safest choice would be to find a hotel or motel and stay the night.

Be a responsible road user, help yourself to be a safer, more productive person and do your part to keep everyone safe.


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