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

Updated on August 24, 2016
Jodah profile image

John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.

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.

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    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Bill, thanks for revisiting after 15 months.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 3 months ago from Cape Cod

      I loved the way the poem flowed and kept building towards the inevitable and sad ending. I am reluctant to admit it, but in my youth, many times I drove 'tired' and I never realized that driving in a sleep deprived state is just as bad as driving drunk! Great work John. Interesting and though provoking.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 19 months ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Billrrrr profile image

      Bill Russo 19 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
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Jennifer Mugrage profile image

      Jennifer Mugrage 2 years 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
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • lollyj lm profile image

      Laurel Johnson 2 years 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.

    • Prof Liway profile image

      Liwayway Memije-Cruz 2 years ago from Bulacan, Philippines

      Thank you so much Sir John...

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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

      Liwayway Memije-Cruz 2 years 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...

    • profile image

      Prof. Liway 2 years 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...

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years ago from Upstate New York

      Great because this is a topic that will never grow old

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 2 years 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
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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 2 years 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
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 2 years 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
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years 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
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • dghbrh profile image

      deergha 2 years 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.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 2 years 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

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • LadyFiddler profile image

      Joanna Chandler 2 years ago from On planet Earth

      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
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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

      Joanna Chandler 2 years ago from On planet Earth

      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
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • georgescifo profile image

      georgescifo 2 years 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
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • lisavanvorst profile image

      Lisa VanVorst 2 years 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
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      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Shyron E Shenko profile image

      Shyron E Shenko 2 years ago from Texas

      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
      Author

      John Hansen 2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • profile image

      Wolfs Paw 2 years 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
      Author

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • carter06 profile image

      Mary 3 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
      Author

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Mel Carriere profile image

      Mel Carriere 3 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
      Author

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • wordswithlove profile image

      Neetu M 3 years ago from 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
      Author

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • bethperry profile image

      Beth Perry 3 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
      Author

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Zainab Tarawali profile image

      Musu Bangura 3 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
      Author

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 3 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
      Author

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 3 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
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • DealForALiving profile image

      Sam Deal 3 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.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 3 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!

    • Harishprasad profile image

      Harish Mamgain 3 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.

    • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

      Chitrangada Sharan 3 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!

    • Jodah profile image
      Author

      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

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      Nellieanna Hay 3 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! ;-)

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      Nellieanna Hay 3 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.

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      Frank Atanacio 3 years ago from Shelton

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

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      Tanya Jones 3 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.

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      Faith Reaper 3 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

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

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

    • Jodah profile image
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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

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

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      Gypsy Rose Lee 3 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.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

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      Nithya Venkat 3 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.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

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      Linda Crampton 3 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.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

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      Chris Mills 3 years ago from Maple City, Michigan

      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.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 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.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

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

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      Bill 3 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

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      Phyllis Doyle Burns 3 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

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

      Voted Up,U, A and H+

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

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

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

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

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      Jackie Lynnley 3 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. ^+

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      Penny Godfirnon 3 years ago from Southern Iowa

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

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      WillStarr 3 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

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

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

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      Penny Godfirnon 3 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.

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      Dana Tate 3 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.

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

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

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      Kept private 3 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 !

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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. :)

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      Rebecca Mealey 3 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

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

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      John Hansen 3 years ago from Queensland Australia

      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.

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      Rebecca Mealey 3 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.