Machine Nation

Irish Politics Forum - Politics Technology Economics in Ireland - A Look Under The Nation's Bonnet


Devilish machinations come to naught --Milton
 
PortalPortal  HomeHome  FAQFAQ  SearchSearch  MemberlistMemberlist  UsergroupsUsergroups  RegisterRegister  Log in  GalleryGallery  MACHINENATION.org  

Share | 
 

 Driver Fatigue

View previous topic View next topic Go down 
AuthorMessage
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Driver Fatigue   Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:32 pm

...is just as dangerous as drink driving.

http://www.rsa.ie/NEWS/News/Driver_Fatigue.html

I don't drink - so the breathalyser doesn't bother me. What does, however, is the advice of Noel Brett in the link above and which you may have heard on the radio in the last couple of days: pull in somewhere safe, have two cups of coffee and a fifteen minute nap.

Coming home from Wexford a couple of weeks ago, I 'woke up' to find myself in the middle of the road - on the painted 'island' that divides the two lanes on a what is usually a busy road in Carlow. Thank God there was no one around - and thank God I woke up when I did. It was about 11.30pm

Getting tired at the wheel is something I struggle with and often have to pull in. But it can be very, very difficult to find somewhere safe to park when you're a woman on your own, late at night. There are no comfort stops. Do I park in a busy area where people are likely to see me - or somewhere quiet and relatively isolated?That night I parked behind a truck in a layby outside the town and took my chances but I've been in deserted forecourts, on the Main Street in various towns, on the motorway and in hotel carparks. Nowhere do I feel safe and it's difficult to sleep when you are anxious, no matter how exhausted you are.

And I'm sure I'm not the only one who experiences this.

While I'm sure the advice is well-meaning, it's not terribly practical either.

Thoughts?
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:43 pm

Aha, you've hit on one of the two topics that drive me to absolute distraction when i visit "home".

The first time I drove from the Dun Laoghaire ferry north along the M50, it took I don't how long, bloody hours felt like. And I got so Victor Meldrew-ish when I realised there are no service stations along the way. How in the name of **** can you builld a motorway in this day and age and not build at least one bloody service station??!?? As you point out, it is dangerous - drivers need to break for a coffee or whatever sometimes, kids need a break.
And yes, it seems to be the same problem around the country.

And the other major bugbear of mine is the absolute deplorable state of public signage in Ireland - usually the total lack of it. Again using the M50 example, right, most of you probably know your way along and know all the exits. Many of us don't and rely on the signs to get us from A to B. Usually, if there is a sign at all, it is located literally just before the exit but you are not given any earlier, clear warning.

... sorry for going on, I won't even bother mentioning the "Irish mile" syndrome, ... jesus, you've got me going now. Will be facing this later in the Summer.

It's so bloody easy, it's not rocket science and some decent signs and service stations would save lives. Mad

... phew, is the Sibin open yet, or what can I get in the Breakfast Bar to calm me down? Smile
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   Sun Jun 01, 2008 12:46 pm

That's a scary one, waking up like that - hasn't happened to me yet thank God. Well done for bringing it up too. I'm stubborn in that I'll drive on even if I'm tired but you're right, there's a woeful lack of facilities in this country, the 81km stretch on the M1 towards the border being famous/notorious for having nothing at all where you can stop and it's a great point about women on their own too. I don't think petrol stations mind if you pulled in for an hour and they are numerous enough and well-lit, but in the middle of nowhere...

The site says 20% of driver deaths may be caused by fatigue.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   Sun Jun 01, 2008 1:00 pm

Atticus, you didn't mention the anti-culchie activities of Dublin Corporation and councils who don't have signs on roadways, who disappear two lanes into one, who magic buslanes out of nowhere and who make even the best of city maps redundant because you never actually know where you are (unlike UK where every byway has its own sign at the entrance.)

Audi, I spend enough time in the District Courts to know that an open petrol station is the LAST place I want to be at night.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   Sun Jun 01, 2008 2:01 pm

That must have been a bit of a shock, Kate P. Its my guess that there's no driver who couldn't honestly say that they haven't nodded off at the wheel for a micro- second or two. Twice in the last few weeks I've had to pull over in the middle of the day and sleep, once with my car parked on a grass bank beside the Cork to Dublin road. I have to drive long distances for work too, and sometimes at fairly odd hours. I have developed my own ways of trying to avoid the prospect of ploughing into the oncoming traffic.

I value my neck too much to take chances so I try to plan things so that I'm not going to be driving when I'm very tired.

I think its important to know your own body clock. The official advice is that your night time sleeping hours and the post-lunch - mid afternoon are the dangerous times. I have to add first thing in the morning - getting up at 5 and leaving at 6 just doesn't work for me.

So I stay overnight the night before if I have to make an early start somewhere the other side of the country. I have a network of places to stay, mainly from a couple of handbooks like the Alistair Sawday guide, because you get a relationship where they know who you are and will look after you at short notice.

I try and time long drives to avoid heavy traffic, as this makes them a lot shorter and lot more enjoyable and less tiring. Between 9 a.m. and 12 noon is not bad, and between 7 p.m. and 11 at night. There is good lively radio to listen to at these times, and that helps make the journey enjoyable.

I stock up the car up with water, a travel rug and pillow and a large bottle of coke for emergency caffeine fixes. Its easy to get dehydrated driving and that makes you sleepy too.
I carry a couple of guidebooks to B and Bs and hotels so if I find tiredness hits me suddenly I can pull in and ring to book a bed.

I curse the NRA for their shoddy planning of service stations and pull-ins. Some of the petrol stations are impossible to pull in and out of safely and they blocked planning permissions for proper rest-stations with petrol and cafes for years.

If I do have to stop, I'm usually too tired to worry about serial killers. I just make sure the doors are locked, put the seat back, throw the travel rug over my head and bingo. Sleep Usually I would phone the office to say I was stopping, and where, before drifting off.

I find the NRA advice unhelpful. If someone is so exhausted when they are driving that they need two cups of coffee they are too tired to be driving. I wonder if the advice is based on any scientific advice? Similar advice is given in this leaflet, but with far more about journey planning, and making it clear that the coffee and nap may not solve the problem, and that you may need a proper sleep before driving on.

I love driving on my own across country. I've seen the whole country in the last few years, day and night. There are some drives that stick in my mind, like one in which I saw over 30 rainbows, some of them nested inside each other, and another time driving north watching an incredible meteor shower of hundreds of "shooting stars" across the open drumlin country in the middle of Ireland.

SAFER JOURNEY LEAFLET link

Another problem faced by the long distance traveller is food. Where is the middle ground between an hour's stop for a sit down meal, and the horrors of roadside takeaway?
Any suggestions Kate p?

btw your photograph of the raw materials for your bbq gave me the best laugh in weeks, tears flowed. It looked like something out of the Red Gallery, all it needed was a price sticker. Good luck with the construction phase. Very Happy


Last edited by cactus flower on Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:59 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   Sun Jun 01, 2008 3:09 pm

I've come across the effects of drivers falling asleep at the wheel a couple of times. In most cases, thankfully, they are minor impacts, it seems one doesn't tend to accelerate while asleep. But should you drive into a path of an oncoming vehicle or through a junction that effects can be much worse.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   Sun Jun 01, 2008 4:39 pm

I remember driving from Longford to Dublin after an exhausting three-week course, the last night of which involved staying up most of the night scrubbing floors and ovens.

Anyway, we had loads of food left over after the course, and I didn't want to throw it out, so I insisted on bringing it back to Dublin to bring to a shelter. The tiredness, the warm smell of bread, and the joy at not being in Longford anymore combined to make me very sleepy. It was quite worrying. I was fortunate that it was during the day (so not scary and dark), and that I could stop for a while in Kinnegad and in my brother's house in Celbridge. I was pretty young at the time, and so didn't really know how to deal with it. These days, if I'm going for a long drive, I try to have someone with me, to talk to me.

CF mentioned that she finds busy roads more tiring as they make the journey longer, but I find them better as they hold your attention better than a long straight road.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   Mon Jun 02, 2008 9:37 pm

I've found the hotel B&B thing quite difficult. I usually ring Directory Inquiries and they send on a list of names and numbers but I won't phone a B&B after half ten - they're not that kind of establishment and generally the owners don't like late calls; and hotels, unless you're near a big town/city are worse than useless after twelve. Coming home on the Cork -Dublin road one night I rang a number of hotels in Cahir and Cashel and only got one reply - from a man who left me hanging on for ten minutes to see if there would be someone to open up after twelve. They hadn't. So I kept driving until Urlingford or Johnstown (next actual town I think) and slept in a deserted filling station.

The trouble with tiredness is that it's not always predictable. On the night I mentioned in Carlow, I wasn't conscious of feeling tired till I suddenly came to. Husband and I usually drive in relays at night- him first because he's more of a night owl than I am. I'll take over after a snooze and might have to pull in again myself. It has happened that we've both been asleep in the car, too tired to drive.

But there is, even in that case, a notable scarcity of safe places to pull in. There are laybys on the Mullingar bypass but otherwise there are very few - I wonder is this a response to the travelling community's habit of parking up wherever there is a convenient spot - certainly many areas have been physically blocked with clay banks or with rocks or low fences.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:13 pm

So there just isn't space for people to pull over and nap, is there? It's definitely anti-traveller bile that gets places blocked up with big stones and all. Are we really in danger of them taking over that we have to block off everything from ourselves as well?

Why is it so dangerous at petrol stations?
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   Mon Jun 02, 2008 11:29 pm

If the people serving you have to lock themselves in, I suppose it must be.
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:00 am

Today I saw a man fined three hundred quid for being parked on the motorway asleep.

It's the law for a reason I know, but maybe it's time for some alternative. Motorways have a particularly soporific quality...
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   Wed Jun 04, 2008 12:06 am

Kate P wrote:
Today I saw a man fined three hundred quid for being parked on the motorway asleep.

It's the law for a reason I know, but maybe it's time for some alternative. Motorways have a particularly soporific quality...

Hard shoulder or central meridian What a Face ?
Back to top Go down
Guest
Guest



PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   Wed Jun 04, 2008 1:19 pm

Kate P wrote:
Today I saw a man fined three hundred quid for being parked on the motorway asleep.

It's the law for a reason I know, but maybe it's time for some alternative. Motorways have a particularly soporific quality...
So true. In other places the authorities go to weird lengths to keep long tunnels etc. exciting so they don't lull you to sleep while driving through.

Is it too difficult for us to organise intermittent stops along roads with CCTV there and signposted well beforehand? A countrywide scheme... all it needs is some bit of land which could double as a picnic area during the day. People should even pay a €1/€2 token for overnight - sort of public camping sites. Max limit to stay there 2/3 days. Don't anyone tell me that there are so many travellers around that these 20 mile(?) picnic sites would be inundated with nappy campers.

In Australia these sites exist, many with compost toilet and heroin needle-disposal facilities. What a Face
Back to top Go down
Sponsored content




PostSubject: Re: Driver Fatigue   

Back to top Go down
 
Driver Fatigue
View previous topic View next topic Back to top 
Page 1 of 1
 Similar topics
-
» Car driving by itself with NO driver
» Riding in a white van with no driver
» chronic fatigue syndrome/Fibromyalgia
» crevé, vanné: FATIGUE!
» Paul Searle

Permissions in this forum:You cannot reply to topics in this forum
Machine Nation  :: Machine Nation :: Energy, Transport and Infrastructure-
Jump to: