How To Stay Awake When Lives Are At Stake.

Drowsiness and fatigue are often used interchangeably in the field of driving. What does this mean? It simply means that both terminologies are taken to mean one and the same. Perhaps because fatigue can lead one to fall into sleep, analysts of driving accidents usually assume that tiredness is cured with sleep. This is not necessarily the case all the time. The main question is how to stay awake while driving when fatigue sets in.

A study submitted to the Tasmania Law Institute by Dr. Murray W. Johns of Sleep Diagnostics Pty Ltd, Melbourne, Australia entitled “Drowsy Driving and the Law” clearly differentiates the two and prescribes a way to alleviate each. On how to stay awake during driving when feeling sleepy, one should mind the numbers of hours he/she has been in a waking state because the usual maximum duration for an alert waking state is seventeen (17) hours.

Learning to distinguish between the state of being sleepy and the state of being weary is central to learning how to properly manage the two, and consequently mastering the problem of how to stay awake behind the wheel. Drowsiness is characterized by being in a place somewhere in the middle of being fully awake on the one hand, and being asleep on the other. It can result in a momentary loss of awareness such as when a person dozes off for a few seconds without knowing it. This condition worsens as time stretches whereas the sense or awareness of being tired or fatigued intensifies as time passes. Therefore, the cure for drowsy driving is strictly sleep, while mere rest can assuage some if not all of the weariness of a driver who has driven for long hours or has done other work in addition to driving that may have contributed to the condition.

The proper management of both cannot be overstated, really. Not if you look at the vehicular accidents that have claimed many lives time and again. One such case is the Kempsey Bus Crash which happened on December 22, 1989, just three (3) days short of Christmas Day. It proved to be the worst road accident to date in Australian history as it took thirty-five lives and left another forty-one (41) injured. Two (2) tourist coaches, one bound for Sydney and another bound for Brisbane, filled with tourists and travelling at speeds of 100 kilometers per hour had a head-on collision at Clybucca Flat along the Pacific Highway north of Kempsey in New South Wales.

A major finding of the Coroner-in-Charge was that the driver of the McCafferty’s Coaches bus dozed off while driving, resulting in his vehicle swerving to the left side and hitting the Trans City bus. The impact was so great that one bus was stuck in the first five (5) rows of the other, throwing people about in both vehicles in terrible fashion. All this had to happen because one driver and the management of his bus did not take precautions on how to stay awake while on duty. A sad Christmas for all the victims and their loved ones.