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Driver Fatigue - A Very Real Danger...

edited November 2013 in Writing
This year, I've been privileged to have featured in a number of BBC Radio shows, talking about the lethal dangers of Driver Fatigue, and the tragedies that can result. This link should open into a recording of my latest live studio chat with BBC Radio Hereford & Gloucester's Elliott Webb, last Wednesday morning...

If you can't get it to play (maybe you aren't a Facebook user?), please let me know, and I'll try another method of linking it.



  • Reminds me of a time when my son took over the wheel on a drive to Brighton. He fell asleep, and I was only made aware as the car was on the inside lane and kept drifting onto the barrier. I decided to gently wake him, then got him to drive on the outside and stop. I took over and (amazingly) kept my peace, as both doors were buckled!
  • Well done on your important work, BLZ.
  • My Mum always talks about becoming fatigued at the wheel. She says on long drives it is better you have two driver who swap every two hours or so or if you are driving on your own to have a half an hour break every now .

    Yes BLZ, congratulations on your work and thanks for sharing.
  • Well done, BLZ. Driver fatigue is responsible for so many accidents - I don't think people realise how quickly it can happen.
  • Well done, BLZ. People think they are superhuman and indestructible, especially in that lovely little warm cocoon hurtling down the road at 70mph. They don't know how quickly a car turns into an unguided missile, just because the driver's eyes are heavy.
    Businesses are often to blame, expecting people to drive long distances, do a day's work, and drive home again, rather than spend out on a night in a hotel. Mr Bear had to do that regularly; they used to pay for accommodation, then stopped, and he would get home beyond exhausted. Poole to Leicestershire and back was bad enough in a day - add in the work time spent there, and it was ludicrous.
  • I couldn't get the link to work. I do agree though that driving whilst tired is a very bad idea.
  • [quote=Mrs Bear]Businesses are often to blame, expecting people to drive long distances, do a day's work, and drive home again, [/quote]

    For the last 15 years of my working life I was a (very unwilling) van driver, very often out before 6.00am and sometimes not back until 7.30 -8.00pm. I've had day trips that took me from Worcester to the London area, through to Essex, then up the East coast as far as Norwich for my last drop at about 5.00pm, leaving me with 150 miles to do to get home. Similarly day trips to the North East. I've started back to drive home to Worcester at 6.00pm-ish from Easington Colliery, Co Durham, God knows how far that is. Knackered wasn't the word. There are no maximum hours for van drivers, and if you're unlucky enough to be trapped in to working for a cowboy operator you have to keep moving. Most days I never got a lunch break, though there were times when I just had to pull over and cat nap. Looking back, I can't believe I never had a serious bump.

    Sorry for the whinge, I'd forgotten what an awful time that was.
  • edited November 2013
    Thanks for your kind comments, folks..

    If you're having trouble with the Facebook link (you have to have a Facebook account to view it, I believe), we'll see if this link works...:


    I think I might've posted this somewhere else on this forum, but it's the full story, as published online...

  • Ooooer!!! Now receiving "bookings" to make presentations on this subject for various Institute of Advanced Motorists groups.. Getting nervous, now...
  • You'll be fine. I've been to loads of IAM meetings over the years (as a member, not a presenter). The only time I can remember a speaker having a hard time was when two representatives from a car manufacturer came to the meeting telling us how wonderful their cars were and we lambasted them about how easy it was to get into them. I'm sure you'll understand that I can't name the car manufacturer.
  • Hmm, let me see... I recall a French manufacturer getting flak over that kind of issue, some time back...? ;-)
  • Congrats BLZ! My OH once fell asleep when driving us through Wales to get a ferry to go on holiday - out two young children in the back. Luckily, i was awake - normally i fall asleep in the car at night. He would have driven into a wall, i only just realised in time. We didn't have much time off and had to get that ferry, that was the trouble, plus the fact that i can't share the driving as I'm not allowed to drive.

    We are very careful now...
  • BLZ - you'll do a grand job because you're talking from first hand experience.

    Make sure they send a taxi for you!
  • Taxi? Luxury! Rather use my own car, ta - it's only 3 or 4 miles from home... ;-)
  • I was thinking more of your ability to keep awake for long enough to get home!
  • edited January 2014
    I made my first live presentation to an audience of strangers on this subject, on Wednesday evening; they were the Bromsgrove & Redditch Advanced Drivers Group, and seemed to appreciate the talk. I've got another presentation preliminarily booked for a much bigger group on the strength of it - looks like my personal campaign might be getting started properly, at last!

    For Facebook users, here's a link to a 4-minute taster video of myself "in action", filmed by my wife; the whole presentation was actually 40 minutes!

  • A very important and worthwhile message, BLZ. I know how this has affected you personally.

    Well done for spreading the word. You come across very well.
  • Brilliant, BLZ. So pleased your work is gaining an audience.
  • Putting a toe in the water was obviously the right move. BLZ - well done.
  • LizLiz
    edited January 2014
    Had time to listen all through today. So terribly sad. This is such a good thing to be doing - if anything could be said to be good about such a ghastly thing happening.

    You could hear the audience become still as you talked - i think you did brilliantly.
  • Aww, thanks, ladies!

    I found it OK once I got into stride and only faltered once about half-way through over a point I wanted to make...but forgot, dammit!!! Next time out, I'll be armed with a 'bullet-point' list as a memory prompt (I started writing that as soon as I got home, that evening!) to avert such hiccups again...

    I've presented the talk (and the old works video) to colleagues several times, and I've noticed that they always stop grunting, snorting & muttering to mates as soon as I put up the first crash-scene photos; they always pull collective deep gasp; shock effect, extreme! Certainly drives the message home (if you'll pardon the poor pun)...

    Onwards and outwards, now... ;-)
  • Congratulations. You spoke well.
  • Down here in Oz (possibly because of the extremely long distances in between anywhere and somewhere) we have driver fatigue ads on telly all the time and various signs along the roads warning people to pull over if they're drowsy. Even after years of this safety campaign, some people still drive whilst tired.
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