Falling Asleep at the Wheel - The Consequences of Driving While Tired

Source

Driving Tired


Most of us drive cars and so can relate how easy it is to become sleepy while driving after a long day at work or when driving long distances. Speeding and driving under the influence of alcohol are the two causes of accidents which gets the most publicity and are the offences that generate safety campaigns, but going to sleep at the wheel is an equally serious problem.

"From 2004 to 2010, almost one in seven fatalities were as a result of fatigue related crashes within Queensland, Australia.

It is important to recognise the warning signs of fatigue and take appropriate action. If you know you'll be tired, plan ahead and arrange alternative transport. Being awake for more than 16 hours is similar to having drunk more than two standard drinks (and having a blood alcohol content of more than 0.05). So don't put yourself at risk." (source: Queensland Government Dept. of Transport and Main Roads)

Source

The Weary Trucker

by John Hansen © 2014


The highway stretched before him,

Twelve hours upon the road.

The midnight hour approaches.

A deadline on his load.


He stopped to grab a bite to eat

At a truckstop ten miles back.

Strong coffee helps him stay awake

So his time is still on track.


The CB statics "Come in Tin Man,

It's Base here, do you read?"

"10-4 Base, I'm right on time,

I drive to meet your need."


A bonus waits if load's on time,

He really needs the cash.

Incentive high to forsake sleep

And even risk a crash.


There is a roadblock up ahead,

The air-brakes screech and hiss.

He hopes the hold-up isn't long,

The deadline he can't miss.


An officer approaches,

"The bridge is out ahead,

You'll have to take a detour."

The trucker nods his head.


He swings into the off-road,

The big rig groans and sways.

He swears expletives to himself,

Not needing this delay.

Source
Source

Warning signs of tiredness

Signs of tiredness include:

  • yawning
  • sore or heavy eyes
  • dim or fuzzy vision
  • you start 'seeing' things humming in ears
  • general tiredness
  • stiffness and cramps
  • back aches and pains
  • day dreaming
  • delayed reaction times
  • unintentional increases or decreases in speed
  • fumbling for gear changes
  • car wandering across the road.

Twelve miles extra to the trip,

He glances at his watch.

Be pushing it to make up time,

But he'll give it a good shot.


He guns the engine to top speed

Despite the heavy load.

Miles slip by in minutes

As the truck engulfs the road.


The trucker's getting weary,

He pops a few 'nodoze'.

Just another hour or so

Then he'll be home and hosed.


Head nods for just a second,

~ an approaching car ahead! ~

He hits the breaks, but much too late,

The two crash head to head.


The truck is barely damaged,

The car a crumpled wreck.

The trucker climbs down from his rig

With just a whip-lashed neck.


He checks the car for any life,

A moan comes from inside.

The driver's door is mangled,

And can't be opened wide.


"Mayday, mayday!"

Tin Man calls,

"Crash on Highway One.

Hurry, this is life or death,

Get me 911."


Methods to Help You Stay Awake While Driving

  • Take frequent rest stops (at least every hour, or earlier if drowsy)
  • Have an insulated flask of tea or coffee with you
  • Listen to music or the radio
  • Buy a caffeinated drink e.g. iced coffee (energy drink as last resort)
  • If you have a passenger have them engage you in conversation
  • Break your journey. Stop in a motel etc for the night
  • Get plenty of sleep before you set out on a long journey

He rushes back towards the wreck

And tries the other doors.

The distinctive smell of gasoline

Hastening the cause.


The left rear door yanks open.

The whole thing seems surreal.

He grabs the driver by the arm

But he's wedged behind the wheel.


There are no other passengers,

But this guy will soon be dead.

Where the hell are the police?

There's a pounding in his head.

Source
Source
Source

The last thing he remembers

Are the sirens and the lights.

As soon as other help arrives

His mind gives up the fight.


On waking in the hospital,

"Where am I?" Tin Man said.

"You have concussion," said the nurse.

"Just lucky you're not dead."


His memory was coming back,

The horrors of last night.

"And the driver of the car,

Is he gonna be alright?"


"His condition's very critical.

It still is touch and go.

That's all that I can tell you,

The police are here you know."

Source

Trucker Arrested for Dangerous Driving

by: John Hansen

A 37 year old truck driver from Brisbane has been charged with dangerous driving after allegedly falling asleep at the wheel and causing the subsequent death of 49 year old Townsville man John William McMahon.

The accident happened in the early hours of Friday morning on the Bruce Highway (Highway One) on an open stretch of road between Ayr and Townsville.

~ the cause of the accident appears to have been the driver of the truck having gone to sleep at the wheel ~

Source

Police investigators reveal that the cause of the accident appears to have been the driver of the truck having gone to sleep at the wheel causing the truck to veer onto the wrong side of the road in front of oncoming traffic (namely the sedan being driven by John McMahon).

Timothy Arthur Manna is due to appear in the Townsville Magistrates Court on 30th October for sentencing.

Admitted Discrepancy

For the benefit of other Australian readers.

I admit the discrepancy in the Emergency telephone number being "911" in the poem. I know our emergency number in Australia is "000" but most of the readers on Hub Pages are American, besides "911" fit the rhyme and I couldn't get "000" to do so. :)

Also I don't know if the "Home News" is actually a real newspaper or where it is located. If it is I hereby state that this story is totally fiction and did not actually appear in that newspaper.

More by this Author


Comments 112 comments

Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

Horrible tale and so tragic. A tale that needs be told. This happens way too much and awareness is the best defense.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for being the first to read this Eric. You are right, this does happen way too often. I know I have often become tired on long trips but usually pull over and walk around a bit or grab a coffee somewhere. Truck drivers are always under pressure to make deadlines so tiredness is a big worry with them although regulations regarding driving hours an rest periods have tightened up recently.


RachaelOhalloran profile image

RachaelOhalloran 2 years ago from United States

This is another top notch composition of poetry, rhyme and narrative (newspaper). You have interwoven all of them excellently. You are the master of this format of presenting poetry and giving background or other story-isms with it. I also mentioned that I like this format on one other hubber's article this week. Not too many can pull this off. It is a gift to be able to do this.

I voted this up, awesome and interesting. I liked this one a lot. It is a hard hitting, but necessary to be said, look at real dangers faced in not just your country but in the USA too.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for this wonderful comment Rachael. I have been putting a lot of effort into the presentation of my hubs recently and it is very satisfying when other hubbers appreciate it. I have also come to the understanding that poetry hubs don't really stand on their own merits, so I usually add extra information to make them more appealing to Hub Pages.

Yes, this is a world wide problem but not always seen as serious as it should be. Thanks for the vote up too.


marcoujor profile image

marcoujor 2 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

Dear Jodah,

This is the full package as you fully present this universal issue, sad and tragic as it is to acknowledge. People are pushing themselves to exhaustion - while operating heavy equipment, working with clients in hospitals, the examples are endless...but the consequences are equally dire.

Your work today reminds me of a recent event with local comedian, Tracy Morgan, whose limousene was broadsided by a tractor trailer - the driver had gone without sleep for over 24-hours. Someone died and Tracy was seriously injured. One of way too many examples...

Sharing this...it needs to be taken seriously for sure. Hugs, Maria


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

You have so importantly expressed this issue. Always a good and worthy hub from. Such great meaning and eye-opener indeed. Voted up!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for your kind comment Maria. Yes the Tracy Morgan situation was a sad one, and a vivid example of this issue. Thank you for sharing. Hugs back.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you DDE, I'm glad you always enjoy my hubs. I have to spend some time reading some of your latest hubs too.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

Your creativity continues to grow leaps and bounds. This is most definitely a huge problem here in the States....you found several ways to deliver the point. Well done!

Have a great weekend, John!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

Jodah your narrative poetry is so vivid. I was right there in the truck. A great message here, never drive when tired. Sharing on twitter..


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Bill. I keep trying to grow and improve my hubs. Glad you think I am succeeding. However I can get my message across effectively. You have a good weekend too.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Ruby, I appreciate your comment. That is what I try to achieve with my poetry...make the reader actually feel they are part of it. It makes me happy if I succeed at that. Thank you for sharing.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

John, this is so tragic. Although truckers in the States are limited to the amount of hours they can drive on one haul, they find ways to cheat on their logs. Safety rules are put in place for a reason. A passenger vehicle doesn't stand a chance against a big rig.

Very creative way to get the message across, John. You did well on the news article. Written like a reporter!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Shauna. I thought this was an important message. I downloaded a newspaper headline template program but it isn't compatible with Hub Pages accepted format so I couldn't use it...had to make up my own, glad it came out ok.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

To write about a real accident in poetry form takes a lot of talent. Those big old trucks on the road scare me. Thanks for sharing both story and poem.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Rebecca, I appreciate your kind comment. However it isn't a true story. I made it up and the newspaper headline is my creation too. Glad I made it seem realistic though. Have a great weekend.


rebeccamealey profile image

rebeccamealey 2 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

You should write a novel. If you have not already.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for that Rebecca, but I don't think I could ever write a novel...a collection of short stories or poetry maybe. I'll leave the novels to the likes of billybuc. :)


carrie Lee Night profile image

carrie Lee Night 2 years ago from Northeast United States

Voted useful and awesome :). Thank you for writing a hub with a very important message :). Great work...one of your best !


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you very much for the generous comment an vote up Carrie. I am glad you enjoyed this and found the message important.


Dana Tate profile image

Dana Tate 2 years ago from LOS ANGELES

A co-worker of mine lost her child and her husband because he fell asleep at the wheel on a trip from Vegas. I never forgot that. Now I make sure I do not drive if I am too tired. A very necessary hub Jodah.


Penny G profile image

Penny G 2 years ago from Southern Iowa

Oh this is a wake up call for me. My husband and I are night workers. We drive tired a lot. We travel a lot too, many times 24 to 38 hours with out sleep. We recently said enough of this. I had heard during a class at my work sleepy drivers are almost worse than drunk drivers! Of course either are wrong and dangerous. We have started pulling over wherever we must, and once in a while the Police stop and ask us what we are doing we say sleeping so we don't wreck. They are understanding most of the time. This was blessing and wow I am glad you chose to write it. THank you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Dana, so sorry to hear about your co-worker's husband and child. That is so sad, but certainly would have been a wake up call for you. Thanks for reading and your kind words.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Penny, thank you for reading this. It sounds like it was meant especially for you at this moment. I am so glad you and your husband decided to start pulling over and resting instead of driving tired...24 to 38 hours without sleep is too much. The police would much rather check on a car parked at the side of the road to attend a horrific accident. I often drove tired when I was younger and found myself on the wrong side of the road on a couple of occasions. Thank God there was nothing coming the other way. Stay safe.


WillStarr profile image

WillStarr 2 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

This is outstanding work Jodah, just superb...possibly your best yet. Voted up and shared.


Penny G profile image

Penny G 2 years ago from Southern Iowa

Jodah I think this was meant for us, Blessing to you for all you do.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Great message John in beautiful rhyme. I saw a mother and baby in caskets from such as this. Very real...and sad. ^+


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Will, a comment like that from you means a lot. I appreciate the vote up and share too.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Jackie, I always appreciate your comments. I am glad this touched you and others. thanks for the vote up.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Fantastic work, Jodah, and a powerful message. Very well done.

Voted Up,U, A and H+


handymanbill profile image

handymanbill 2 years ago from western pennsylvania

Great job. I have many time driven very tired. I have not done that in a long time. It is sad what can happen. Voted up


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good to see you Phyllis. Thank you for your kind comment in support of this important message.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Bill, if people are honest most of us have driven while tired. I know I have. Hopefully now I know better. Thanks for the follow too.


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

Sad and the victim could be any one of us. Driving while sleepy can be as dangerous as drunk driving. Good poem, John. It's strange how we don't have a uniform emergency number across countries.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Flourish. Yes it could happen to any one of us. I am not sure what the emergency numbers are in countries other than USA and Australia. Maybe anyone from different countries who read this can let us know in comments.


cam8510 profile image

cam8510 2 years ago from Columbus, Georgia until the end of November 2016.

Thanks for writing this poem and giving all the helpful information. About 40 years ago, I was traveling to Oklahoma. Outside Effingham, Illinois, I fell asleep and went off the road. I was okay, but the car was totaled after rolling three times. Lesson learned.

Nice job telling such a tragic story using poetry.

Up and shared here and elsewhere.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Cam. Good to see you and get your comment. It is a hard lesson learned isn't it. You were obviously lucky and learned your lesson, some aren't so blessed. Thanks for voting up and sharing too.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

This is an important hub containing a very effective poem, Jodah. Driving while tired can have terrible consequences, as you've described. Thanks for publicizing the situation.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Alicia, îf something needs to be highlighted I'll do it. This is something a lot of people can relate to and it is an important issue.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 years ago from Dubai

Great poem with a very important message. Very well expressed. Falling asleep while driving is very dangerous for the person who is driving and for other drivers on the road.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Exactly Vellur, you explained it well. It is much easier to pull over and rest than to risk killing yourself or someone else. Thanks for commenting.


Gypsy Rose Lee profile image

Gypsy Rose Lee 2 years ago from Riga, Latvia

So much needless tragedy. Your poem sends an important message. Drivers of long hauls should look for places to rest even if they're trying to make a deadline.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yesb Gypsy, I feel it is an important message for everyone who drives not just truck rivers. thank you.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Yesb Gypsy, I feel it is an important message for everyone who drives not just truck rivers. thank you.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Oh, John, sadly I see this almost daily in my weekly hour commute each way into the city to work on the Interstate. I am always aware to check out the big 18-wheelers and see them swerving and then I know to back off from them or try to get around them real quick like! They are under a lot of pressure to get to their destination, but need to realize that life is more important and proper rest is a way to save lives. Your poem is very good and realistic.

As for myself, I do know if I do not get proper sleep the night before, by the time it is time for me to head back home, I have caught my eyes slowly getting heavier as if sleep is coming on ... so I immediately turn up the tunes and pray. In the mornings I am good to go with my thermos of coffee.

Blessings always


Arachnea profile image

Arachnea 2 years ago from Texas USA

I have trouble driving at night as the lines in the road always put me to sleep. I recall a drive from Garden Grove to San Diego years ago and I didn't recall not a moment of the drive. I suspect I was rather dozy while driving. I was scared straight so to speak and never drove while tired again. I was rather young then.

Interesting point about 911. I knew about 999 in the UK, but not Australia. I like that the truck driver does for the other accident victim. There are many who would not have.

Great poem and sense of rhyme.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

tragic, horrible.. a message sent and by the by love the poem.. it's right to the point and direct!!!


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

Wow! What an eye-opener! Your poem is epic and tells the story so vividly, that I'd dare anyone to read it and not think twice - and then some- before pushing it to drive when sleep is trying to overtake ! I may have to share it with someone who may push it at times.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 2 years ago from TEXAS

ps - What seems to be a spelling discrepancy, though I'm well aware that there are different spellings for many words in 'proper English' and 'American'. Anyway, this one is totally foreign to me, See what you think:

"He stopped to grab a bight to eat" -- it would be spelled 'bite' over here.

Feel free to delete this post after you see it! ;-)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Nellieanna for that. I don't mind readers pointing out errors to me. In fact I encourage it. I hate to think people have been reading my errors and ignoring them. I much prefer to know and fix them as soon as possible. It was my spelling mistake, thanks.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Faith, it is much too common, people are busier in more of a hurry and getting less sleep. It is inevitable that these accidents occur. We have to be aware and try to pull over if tired, grab a coffee, walk around..it doesn't take much. Thanks for reading and sharing your comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Arachnea, thanks for reading and your kind comment. Yes driving long distances at night has it's challenges especially if it is raining. I find it difficult to drive in late afternoon or dusk..seems to be the time I become most tired. Luckily you had a "wake up call" excuse the pun. Glad you liked the poem.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Frank, glad the poem got my point across clearly.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Oh Nellieanna, please do share. If this poem can make a difference to anyone and make them more aware then it is a success. Thank you for reading and your kind comment as always. Take care.


ChitrangadaSharan profile image

ChitrangadaSharan 2 years ago from New Delhi, India

Great hub and written very effectively, on a very important topic!

And this needs attention from everyone around the world. Driving with caution and 100% attention is so important.

Voted up and shared on HP!


Harishprasad profile image

Harishprasad 2 years ago from India

What a wonderful poem ! Reading it I felt as if everything is going on before me like scenes in a movie ! John, this is a fine work here about a very crucial issue. Carelessness on part of some guy at wheels creates havoc and through this fine poem, you have spread a great message all around. Voted up.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 2 years ago from United States

This really is a sad story and it happens much too frequently. I like your poem as it tells the's tale very well. I have driven a couple of times in years past when I was much too tired, but I don't anymore. Fortunately, I never had an accident. This is an excellent hub to increase awareness. Voted up!


DealForALiving profile image

DealForALiving 2 years ago from Earth

It's such a scary reality how people aren't tuned in while they're driving. Obviously when someone's tired, it's terrible but it's not much better when you see an idiot texting and driving or stuffing a hamburger in their mouth while looking down.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading and for such a kind comment Chitrangada, yes it is a very important message and everyone has to take notice. Thank you for sharing and voting up.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good to see you Harishprasad, thank you for such kind words and the vote up for this important message. Yes, it is happening too often.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Pamela. Yes it is sad and unfortunately happens too often. I have been guilty in the past myself and lucky my wife has been with me to wake me up if I started to drop off. I appreciate the vote up too.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

I agree DealForLiving that texting while driving is even worse because it is a deliberate act. Here in Australia it is an offence to use a cell phone while driving unless it is hooked up to Bluetooth and hands free. I think it is a loss of 3 demerit points and $400 fine. I guess your right that eating while driving can be a problem too and distracting. People need to be more careful and aware in general.


annart profile image

annart 2 years ago from SW England

Perfect way to deliver this message. There is no point in driving when tired, no matter what deadlines you want to meet (deadline being the operative word!).

We've just come down to France on the ferry; we arrived at 4am and decided to drive for 8 hours to our destination after very little sleep.

We stopped for an hour's kip and shared the driving but we were still tired and probably shouldn't have done it. We arrived safely but all the way we were keeping each other awake. We should have stopped for longer or for another kip, I suppose.

Great poem, forceful message and a message that needs pushing more and more. Imagine the feelings of the truck driver having a death on his hands.

We've driven along that highway and I must say the lorries were scary, hogging the road and going really fast!

Great hub, John.

Ann


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for sharing that Ann. If we are honest most of us have driven or still drive when tired. Imagine what it is like for truck drivers who are on strict deadlines even with stricter regulation.


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

That was something else John and so true. I also love and always used to listen to that song. I voted up and shared it.

By the way, when I lived in the state of New Jersey, years ago, we had a nearby paper called The Home News. I think that looks like it but it has been a while.

Kevin


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading vote up,and share Kevin. Glad you found this poem interesting and "Convoy " brought back memories. Thanks for the info on "the Home News" too.


Zainab Tarawali profile image

Zainab Tarawali 2 years ago from Nation's Capital

This is a very important topic. It's so dangerous - I almost crashed several years ago when I was driving at full speed from Dallas to Albuquerque, trying to make it to the bed because I was so sleep deprived. I literally fell asleep on the wheel and almost lost control of the car in a mountainous area. Thank God I woke up just in time!

Great hub - voting up and sharing.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading this Zainab, also thank God that you woke up in time on the mountainous road. I have had a similar thing happen to me and it certainly scared some sense into me. I appreciate the vote up and share too.


bethperry profile image

bethperry 2 years ago from Tennesee

Jodah, great poem with a needed message. A childhood friend of mine lost her mother in an accident when a truck driver fell asleep at the wheel from exhaustion. He took care of my friend the rest of his life (adopted her). But he never forgot the tragedy he had caused her. Thank you for posting.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for sharing that sad story Beth. I am glad the truck driver adopted your friend and cared for her but they would still have to both live with the tragedy for life. I hope others get the message.


wordswithlove profile image

wordswithlove 2 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

As one who is very prone to getting sleepy at the wheel, I can so relate to your hub, John. Your poem about the truck driver makes me think of all the truck drivers out on those roads. In fact, I fear truck drivers on highways because I know the long hours they clock in each day and how fatigue can cause them to fall asleep.

I drink strong coffee each time I have to hit the highway, but even that doesn't always help. Often, I pull over at a rest stop just to roll down my window and let fresh air wake me up. It isn't just when I am tired or sleep-deprived that this happens - I think the motion affects me! I am just glad I don't have to drive long distance every day.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi wordsmith love, thank you for the honest comment. We can all get sleepy at the wheel but it's good that you admit it and take steps to pull over and get fresh air etc. I always take a supply of caffeine energy drinks or iced coffee in the car especially for long distances.

Truck drivers are always a worry though as they are always under pressure, and you don't have much chance against an out of control truck. Take care.


Mel Carriere profile image

Mel Carriere 2 years ago from San Diego California

The real culprits are the trucking companies who push these truckers to their extremes. There are strict regulations governing the amount of time drivers can be behind the wheel, but these are often ignored in the interest of squeezing a few more pennies out of the bottom line. Great poem!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Mel. Yes, you're right it is the trucking companies that are at fault in search of the almighty dollar. The poor truckers suffer the consequences despite regulations. Take care.


carter06 profile image

carter06 2 years ago from Cronulla NSW

Your poem captures the essence of the seriousness of this tragic but too true, frequent occurrence succinctly Jodah, especially, the frequency for some reason I don't understand in Qld.. a good flow of both rhythm and rhyme in your poem takes the reader along with you into the depths of understanding in this sad story..how often I've felt tired at the wheel & shudder when I read this at what could so easily happen..thanks for sharing this.. Cheers


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading this Carter. I know a lot of people can relate because I can as well. I have had a couple of close calls in the past and hopefully I am more careful these days. The problem with Australia, in particular states like Queensland is the often long distance between towns. Appreciate your kin comment.


Wolfs Paw 22 months ago

Enjoyed reading your story the way you told it through poetry. You did a great job. Unfortunately, this is very common and sad when it happens and such a tragedy. Many drivers are under pressure but the consequences of this happening is not worth any load a driver is hauling.

I have been guilty myself a time or two and have always been fortunate enough to get off the road. Having someone ride with me has always helped keep me awake as well.

A great message that is always needed to keep our roads safer. There is never any good that can come out of falling asleep at the wheel. Thank you for sharing! Voted up, awesome, and useful.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Wolfs Paw. That great comment means a lot coming from an experienced truck driver who can personally relate. It is an important message and as you say no deadline is worth the consequences of driving tired. I often find it easier to get my message across through poetry and glad this poem was effective. Thank you for the vote up too.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 22 months ago

Great poetry, so true to life. I had several of my friends and people that I have know who have died that way. Ziggy was on his way home and the vehicle that hit him was okay but his vehicle caught fire and he died.

Zigmund and my husband were friends.

Voted-up, UABI and shared.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank for reading Shyron. So sorry to hear about Ziggy, your husband's friend and other acquaintances who died from falling asleep at the wheel. I appreciate the vote up and share too.


lisavanvorst profile image

lisavanvorst 22 months ago from New Jersey

This story is so true and so sad. Many fatalities have occurred because these truckers are pressured to meet deadlines and get very little sleep. It is heartbreaking and so unfair. I know there are laws about how many hours they can drive and then must rest, but when the deadlines have to be met judgement can be poor. Thank you for alerting us.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for your comment Lisa. Yes it is a sad but true tale of what many of us experience or know someone who has. I appreciate you reading. Have a great day.


georgescifo profile image

georgescifo 22 months ago from India

feeling sleepy while driving is one of the most dangerous thing to happen and whenever I feel sleepy, I stop that car and take a small break and then carry on with my driving.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi georgecifo, yes that is the wise thing to do, take a break, walk around awhile, then carry on driving when you are more alert. Thanks for reading.


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 22 months ago from Somewhere in the West

This is serious and true stuff Jodah. I am awfully tired these days because I haven't been on vacation since 2013 and for the past two years I haven't been well. My body got a good beating last year with pains, illness etc but i keep going. I recently got a few vacation days due to switch in jobs I had to wait.

I feel so weary driving on the road i literally have to open my eyes wide and pray God i reach home safely. Like right this minute I am exhausted. I don't think no amount of sleep can compensate for my tiredness at the moment.

It's dangerous to drive when tired or sleepy, but i have to work for the time being :(

Thanks for sharing this detailed poem with us.

Have a swell day.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I am so sorry to hear about your illness and pains LadyFiddler. It sounds like you may be suffering chronic fatigue or something similar. You should ask to be diagnsed for that. It would explain your constant tiredness. It is too dangerous to drive in that state. God bless you.


LadyFiddler profile image

LadyFiddler 22 months ago from Somewhere in the West

Hi Jodah no it's an over reactive bladder etc problem that seems to be unfix-able by doctors well at least in my country they are a bunch of quacks. I have seen over a dozen and none has helped me to correct the problem thus far. I urinate excessively so therefore my body is dehydrated from constant passing of water. So it makes me feel extra weary, thanks for your concern and advice though. I also need a vacation the hustling of work etc gets your drained after awhile.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 22 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Take care LadyFiddler, I hope you soon find a doctor that can help. Maybe you need to look at alternative therapies.


peachpurple profile image

peachpurple 20 months ago from Home Sweet Home

in our country bus drivers driving tour bus have met mishaps number of times due to lack of sleep. The bus threw of the ravine, down into the cliffs and tourist perished


dghbrh profile image

dghbrh 20 months ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

Very socially influencing hub here. Its indeed a burning issue which needs real serious awareness. Thanks for this wonderful share. Shared and votes up.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 20 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for the insightful comment dghbr. Glad you see the importance of this issue. Thanks for the vote up and share.


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 20 months ago from New York

This is tastefully done John. Your poem so hits the spot. My husband was an over the road truck driver for a while but it was too much time away from home and too demanding to make those deliveries on time. It is even worse for owner operators and that's where the dangers come in. We have log books here that truck drivers have to fill out showing they haven't driven more than so many hours per day, but, they can be altered and often are to the detriment of all involved.

Your newspaper article is a good compliment to the subject.

Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 20 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Wow , peachpurple, I'd hate to be on a bus with a sleepy driver. He is responsible for so many lives. What a tragic story.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 20 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Mary, I felt it was an important subject and many can relate to driving tired not just truck drivers. However the deadlines do put a lot of pressure on truck drivers despite the log books. Thanks for the kind words, vote up etc.


moonlake profile image

moonlake 14 months ago from America

Great hub. Sad story. A few years ago I couldn't drive into town without getting sleepy. I found out my heart was causing me trouble and I had to have stents put in. The sleepiness went away.

I once took No-doz years ago just to stay awake to keep my husband awake. They made me so sick I never took them again.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi moonlake, thank you for reading and sharing your personal story. I agree these drugs are not the answer, there certainly are side effects.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 14 months ago from Upstate New York

Hi Jodah: Just read this excellent hub and quite a few of the comments. Reading moonlake above, I took No-doz in college to study for an exam and it is awful stuff. NO DRIVER SHOULD TOUCH NO DOZ IN MY OPINION. I am so glad you have addressed this vital issue...My daughter is exhausted all the time and I told her I keep sending God's guardian angels to protect her when driving late at night ...but that I am worried her guardian angels are exhausted chasing her. She falls asleep the second she sits down, can't watch TV, sleeps at the computer, slept on all the tour buses when I took her to Europe in 2013. I love her but she makes me furious because she is exhausted by choice, trying to always meet the expectation of others.

I think employees need to rethink these deadlines...no matter what your job is...as with truckers, it is very unreasonable to put that pressure on drivers. They should have other drivers in towns along the way to take over. I really get angry and upset when people die too soon, either at the hands of a drunken driver or one who cannot keep awake. The damage is horrendous and stays with you forever... with both parties.

I hope you write even a newer hub on this with more statistics, and maybe address it to employers. My daughter just got fired from her job because they had her working 8:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. every day, and driving over 100 miles each way. They were furious because she took a day off to drive her son to college. She is beyond exhausted, and the employer said, "I AM SO DISAPPOINTED IN YOU!" They run a prison in my opinion. I could go on and on, but thank you again for what you shared. God bless, Sparklea :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi Sparklea, it is so good to get a comment by you and such a detailed and interesting one. I am so sorry to hear about your daughter being fired for taking one day off to take her son to college. It does sound like she is better off not working for that firm though as working 8.30 am to 10 pm and driving 100 miles each way is totally unsustainable. She woud have ended up having an accident. I do believe that things happen for a reason o maybe her getting fired was God's way of protecting her.

I agree NO DOZ is a bad drug and not the answer. Strict deadlines need to be loosened so drivers are not under so much pressure, and yes they should have relief drivers to take over along the way. Thank you for reading. Blessings.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 14 months ago from Upstate New York

My pleasure Jodah. It has been very hectic and I am so behind in everything, If I could be awake 24 hours I could catch up with the hubs...but I am also trying to get my book written in between 'life'. I DO hope you write another hub on this very important issue. I hate to see a person's life end because of something that could have been prevented.

I am thrilled my daughter lost her job and I told her so. It is terrible to see someone you love so very exhausted. Blessings always, Sparklea


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Good luck with the book Sparklea, and I will think about doing an updated hub on this topic.


Sparklea profile image

Sparklea 14 months ago from Upstate New York

Great because this is a topic that will never grow old


Prof. Liway 14 months ago

So beautiful hub Sir John for it really gives a vivid picture of a tired driver. Sitting beside my husband in our car is always making me nervous not because my husband is not a good driver but the mere thought of an accident scares me a lot. Because some drivers are so reckless and no matter how careful one drives he would be affected and so with pedestrians who just cross the streets without looking left and right and not using pedestrian lanes.

This hub is not an ordinary one because the presentation is yours...from a noted hubber in this site. Thumbs up...


Prof Liway profile image

Prof Liway 14 months ago from Bulacan, Philippines

Prof. Liway 8 minutes ago

So beautiful hub Sir John for it really gives a vivid picture of a tired driver. Sitting beside my husband in our car is always making me nervous not because my husband is not a good driver but the mere thought of an accident scares me a lot. Because some drivers are so reckless or tired and no matter how careful one drives he would be affected by such drivers and so with pedestrians who just cross the streets without looking left and right and not using pedestrian lanes.

This hub is not an ordinary one because the presentation is yours...from a noted hubber in this site. Thumbs up...


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading this hub and for your generous comment Prof Liway. Yes, you are right, just driving in the car is putting your life at risk because you cannot control what other drivers do. Have a great day.


Prof Liway profile image

Prof Liway 14 months ago from Bulacan, Philippines

Thank you so much Sir John...


lollyj lm profile image

lollyj lm 14 months ago from Washington KS

I really liked this hub. The topic is interesting, presented well, and laid out in a way that the eye can easily follow. The topic is thought provoking and important to anyone who drives or rides in a vehicle.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hi lollyj, I appreciate your generous comment and for taking the time to read this hub which I feel addresses an important issue.


Jennifer Mugrage profile image

Jennifer Mugrage 14 months ago from Columbus, Ohio

Great Hub. The poem is very tense, because we all know what's coming. My favorite line is "As the truck engulfs the road." It's unique, evocative, and scans well.

Unfortunately, I think driving tired is very, very common. Many people, blue collar and professional, are chronically sleep-deprived. All of them commute to work. It's really a wonder there aren't more crashes.

I don't personally know of any news story like the fictional one you post above, but there was a truck driver in our area who had a tire burst while driving. It struck a car next to the truck, causing a crash that killed the driver of the car. I believe the truck driver was prosecuted.

I once found myself very sleepy while driving. I was moving house with my family. It was our second day on the road. I had an infant in a car seat in the back. I prayed and asked God to keep us safe. Almost immediately after my prayer, the car began to slow down. The transmission had failed on my car. We were forced to stop and get it fixed, and I got my rest.

Again, great Hub.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading thi Jennifer and sharing that great comment. Yes driving while tired is all too common as you said. I think God was watching over you, forcing you off the road with a failed transmission to avoid an accident. A similar thing happened once when my son and his family were late catching a flight. I wrote a hub about it "God is Watching Over Us". I appreciate your kind words.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 14 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading thi Jennifer and sharing that great comment. Yes driving while tired is all too common as you said. I think God was watching over you, forcing you off the road with a failed transmission to avoid an accident. A similar thing happened once when my son and his family were late catching a flight. I wrote a hub about it "God is Watching Over Us". I appreciate your kind words.


Billrrrr profile image

Billrrrr 8 months ago from Cape Cod

I have been off for a while and checked back in to find this wonderful work from last September. It was a horrible accident that happens for too often; but I sure did like the poem - it invoked pleasant memories of the classic trucking songs of decades ago. Those stanzas presented some interesting rhyming challenges. You met them all.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 8 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hey Bill, good to see you back on board, and for breathing some new life into this hub. I felt it was an important subject that almost everyone can relate to. You are right, the rhyme was a challenge at time but I think it worked. Oh and the accident referred to is all fictional. I tried to make up a newspaper article as best I could with the tools HP allowed me. It is a very common occurrence however.

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