FuelRunGod

Fatigue Kills!!!

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Hey everyone,

 

My experience, so nobody has to learn it the hard way.

Recently i took a drive to Goa...and after having experienced the last drive with some close friends i was expecting a pretty much exhillarating drive once again. I was going to follow the normal goa highway and the drive was expected to be uneventful, but there was something else waiting for me in store this time...

Night before departure...23 October 2005

I have barely slept for 2 hours...been preparing for an exam in college the next day. Next morning im up at 5.30am and heading for college by about 6.30.

It was supposed to be a 600km drive to be done in around 10-11hrs...but that was only possible if I started early morning at 6am...but due to college I was forced to start at 2pm...finally got out of Mumbai around 4.30pm...damn the traffic was bad that day.

As we all know, night driving in India is not one the safest things to do especially on highways which are mostly unlit and oncoming traffic can be blinding especially with these buggers driving on high beams all the time no matter what. Lorries and ST busses are the worst. Some areas which I would pass through are pretty remote which was unsafe and especially at night...and to add to my worries there was no cellphone reception at some places which I shall realise a little later on.

So finally me and 3 friends are off for our holiday...a little late but what the heck as long as we were on the road it was fine (3 others would join us at the destination the next day, they decide to take the train...wise decision)...we all needed this vacation.

We cover about 200kms in about 3 hours....

Time 7.30pm 24th October 2005
We make our first stop for coffee and a light dinner at Mahad (Visava)...already last nights sleep deprivation was showing its affects. I did think for a moment to stop for the night but we had our hotel bookings done already and it was a bit too late to change them now and also that I didn

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Damn dude.. thats one scary story..glad to know you guys are fine.

Heres another thing.. SHARE THE DRIVING DUTY..

As much as it kills you to do so.. its much better than going through what you just did FRG.

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My suggestion is if there is any night driving to be done and cannot be avoided always do it at the inital stage of the trip rather than at the end, I feel it is much safer. I personally prefer to avoid night driving considering the conditions here

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True. We were lucky. Point of the thread is to educate people on driving without being well rested. Youll never know when sleep hits you. So be careful everyone. Share driving when doing long distances. Take breaks. If not comfortable with driving at night. Avoid it.

FRG

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hey FRG the biggest mistake is thinking you can go the distance when your drowsy. Thank god it all turned out fine...but lesson to be learned either pop a red bull real quick or get of the wheel!! This just substantiates my earlier topic ABS should be mandatory.

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Oh God, quite an event! On the hindsight & as an advise, one should always try to undertake a long journey when one feels comfortable (day/night).

There should be adequate preparation, of both the driver & car, ie. proper meals/sleep for the driver & checkup for the car.

Also, if possible, for a longer journey driving should be swapped, to provide rest in turns, this would keep the one on the drivers seat fresh.

As already mentioned, brakes should be taken at will & most importantly "hurry" should be left out.

As a precautionary measure, while choosing a car, safety should be taken as a prime concern & if monetarily possible, essential safety aids like ABS, Airbags  should be opted.

"Never" forget the use of a seat belt, it saved my life too in a very ugly crash!

 

Lesson:  drively safely, your life is precious, there's someone waiting for you & you might not be as lucky as FRG!
BornFree2009-03-12 19:41:02

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I'm one of those "I really like driving at night" fellows - but yes - I ensure that I have slept well the previous night/day.

There have been instances where I've just had to pull over and sleep in the car at the roadside (good sheltered spot where no trucker can come slam into me).

Tried red bull and loads of caffeine (enough to upset my stomach) during some long nights but nothing can really keep you going forever. Its best to know when to stop.

Quite an experience FRG - you were very lucky that there were no injuries and the car was still drivable.

(PS - So that's why the Pete's box has been "for sale" - you sold the Hyundai and got the Safari after this ? )

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FRG: You have indeed been fortunate.

Reminds me of a couple of incidents. Luckily no damage.

We used to drive from Reading to Grenoble (and also return) essentially non-stop (a distance in excess of 800 miles using Calais). while we were normally Ok going down having had a good rest at home before starting it was bad coming back. Once I was driving back in a Ford Mondeo(?) Estate. I dozed off doing over 90mph in the fast lane. Luckily my colleague next to me noticed it and woke me up. I immediately pulled into the next service area and handed the driving over to him. Could have been a real disaster. In my student days we drove Grenoble - Le Havre (503 miles) after only a couple of hours sleep in the pervious three days. Quite frankly for the last 150 miles or so I was on 'auto pilot'. Fortunately my Escort 1300 was following my boss in his BMW2800 so things were not that bad.

2. Recently returning from Gwalior my son was driving and looke sleepy. So I took over and had a heck of a time keeping awake.

I really miss the old Ford Escort of mine. The air vents had a setting - warm air ito the legs and cold air to the fascia. I found it to be the best to keep awake in the cold climes. None of the modern cars have such vent settings.

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FRG, fortunate enough and phew what an experience you had. Really this one does  help out others too while driving out. Does remember one incident i had while going to drop some family members at airport at 4.30am with hardly slept by last few days with wedding in family and while in between my journey towards airport i could see my eyes getting closed, with a truck getting passed by me is a flash which opened my eyes, whoa just got my car parked left side of the road, asked a cousin to get on the wheels and let myself on the rear seat, but yes definately worth learning from your experience frg, fatigue kills.

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I have one more advise. If you are in a remote location with out a tea coffee break and just can't keep keep your eyes open park the car safely get out of the car and make a hard run for about 100 mts and back, I gurantee you that you will feel fresh as a daisy and will be able to carry on for another 3 Hrs. The important thing is to get your adrelinine flowing which happened to FRG after the accident, you can alway make it happen before the accident. I alway do this. On my Goa- Ahmedabad trip was driving 14 Hrs non stop but had a 10 min break of the above 3 times. Cannot afford being careless with kids and family on board.

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Well Fortunate enough FRG..Thats why we avoid night driving coz sleepiness always comes in night and that too when everybody else in the car is sleeping or if you ahve to drive than listen to some loud music as soft music tends to be even more sleepy(atleast to me), or best thing is to stop the car and have sleep for some 20-30mins and then wash your face..

Once my uncle had major accident but luckily they all survived but with some injuries, they were on the way to Jaipur from Surat in M800 and as all were sleeping my uncle also slept while driving and truck came from wrong side and crashed the car..After that only the parts of car were seen that too in small pieces and same uncle, recently, went to sleep when he was driving his WagonR on Flyover in my city but before he could thrash with the divider he woke up and luckily was safe otherwise he would have fallen down to road from Flyover..While Driving one should have control over his/her sleep always..  

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I have one more advise. If you are in a remote location with out a tea coffee break and just can't keep keep your eyes open park the car safely get out of the car and make a hard run for about 100 mts and back' date=' I gurantee you that you will feel fresh as a daisy and will be able to carry on for another 3 Hrs. The important thing is to get your adrelinine flowing which happened to FRG after the accident, you can alway make it happen before the accident. I alway do this. On my Goa- Ahmedabad trip was driving 14 Hrs non stop but had a 10 min break of the above 3 times. Cannot afford being careless with kids and family on board.[/quote']

Thanks for bumping the topic up FRG. That must have been a harrowing experience.

The above advice is followed by the driver of my brother in law's taxi. He also resorts to biting on green chillies when he has extended back to back long trips.

Another way is to ensure atleast one other person is awake and keeps talking to the driver...

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I have one more advise. If you are in a remote location with out a tea coffee break and just can't keep keep your eyes open park the car safely get out of the car and make a hard run for about 100 mts and back' date=' I gurantee you that you will feel fresh as a daisy and will be able to carry on for another 3 Hrs. The important thing is to get your adrelinine flowing which happened to FRG after the accident, you can alway make it happen before the accident. I alway do this. On my Goa- Ahmedabad trip was driving 14 Hrs non stop but had a 10 min break of the above 3 times. Cannot afford being careless with kids and family on board.[/quote']

Another way is to ensure atleast one other person is awake and keeps talking to the driver...

True RR, thats the best way and if the passenger is awake even the driver doesnt feels like sleeping and if everyone is sleeping, sometimes even when the driver is not willing to sleep, sometimes sleeps by seeing others and trust me this happens..Thats why in car my mother never sleeps when my father or me are driving..bluesapphire2009-03-13 09:17:03

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One thing which helps. The front seat passenger should not pop off.

A counterpoint story: I remember in 1975 we were driving back to Le Havre from Grenoble in my bosses BMW2800. We did 503 miles in 7 hours incl a stop for lunch. I was the front seat passenger. he was doing about 80 mph. I dozed off. When I woke up again he was around 110. His comment - I saw you dozing off so to keep myself alive speeded up a bit! He had done this bit in his XK120 in 5-1/2 hours! Mind you no autoroute from Lyon to Grenoble at that time.

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That was real scary, imminently forgetable, thanks for sharing your accident with us. Incidently, I also with my family would have become a statistic on ECR, this not for want of sleep but for changing the volume on the stereo on a bend !!! and headed bang into the extreme right and swerved back ; luckily there was no traffic and all my family were sleeping, no witness, just my conscience. ECR is incidentally a virtual deathtrap nowadays with narrow 2 lane roads and breakneck speed's and alcohol, and not to mention where half of the road get's occupied by farmer's to dry paddy/hay. That was also in an Accent.

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Yes that was quite a narrow escape. It always helps to have an alert co-driver. If he/she can keep you engaged in conversation, nodding off is less likely. Driving alone sleepy, without having anyone to talk to is a disaster waiting to happen. Never tempt fate.

 

FRG
FuelRunGod2009-03-13 18:25:53

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Manish Thats a horror story - miraculous and providential escape from the inevitable.

Yes its the best to totally avoid night driving and halt at the nearest town/city by 7 or 7.30 pm. But the youthful enthusiasm to drive and get the thrill and hotel bookings? We all are/have been victims at some time or the other to such decisions.

And the political convoy? Don't know whether they won the election but they did something very touching!

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