A few years ago, a young man and woman from our community were driving back to the Ottawa Valley after a day of shopping in Ottawa. The young man fell asleep behind the wheel and veered into oncoming traffic. He was not injured, but his girlfriend was killed instantly. I remember thinking how tragic this story was and how awful that young man must have felt. I could not fathom the enormous guilt he will have to live with for the rest of his life. It's sad because it's something that could have been prevented if he had not gotten behind the wheel when he was so overtired.
With so many people on the roads including young families with children, it's so important to not drive when you are feeling tired and sleepy. In my opinion, driving while tired is similar to driving while impaired by alchohol or drugs. You just shouldn't do it!
According to Insurance Hunter’s safety survey, young parents are more likely tired than their older counterparts. This totally makes sense to me. I remember being so very tired when my kids were younger and still not sleeping through the night. Having a baby and toddler takes it's toll on a person. The survey also found that Ontario motorists still continue to drive while they are overtired which can lead to tragic consequences like an accident- sometimes with fatal results.
The survey also revealed that men with young families who take road trips are much more likely to nod off behind the wheel compared to women. It's a big difference too with 30% of men indicating they have fallen asleep behind the wheel while only 14% of women have. I know for all the road trips we have ever taken, my husband was the one who did all the driving. It also showed that 72% of dads do most of the driving on road trips.
As parents we often put the needs of our children ahead of our own. However, when you are driving, I believe the driver's needs should take precedent because he holds the life of the family in his hands when he gets behind the wheel. The study showed that 64% of Ontario men ignored the signs of fatigue and continued driving while on a road trip. I'm sure they did not realize that they were putting their family at risk and probably just wanted to get to their destination. It's stressful to travel with kids and the driving is usually the hardest part so I can understand why they would continue to drive.
I know parents plan for road trips and think of the kid's needs like packing enough snacks for the kids and bring toys & games to keep the kids entertained. The survey also revealed that most parents do set out on road trips in a positive frame of mind. 24% of drivers surveyed said they started the trip feeling happy and 39% indicated they were feeling excited.
I encourage you to check out the survey results on the Insurance Hunter website. I think you will find it eye-opening and will make you think twice about driving while tired. Also, while you are there, get a quote for auto insurance and see how it compares to your current rate!