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Old 26th December 2016, 18:09   #91
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

Fantastic Thread! I can relate to this. Driving after lunch has been the biggest challenge for me. This is the only time I have a 500Ml of coke handy with me. The caffeine helps to a certain degree. I take a lot of breaks during this time period.

One thing I would like to add is to avoid driving when one is 'jetlagged'.
I had a horrific experience when I found myself drifting away across lanes during my commute back home. Luckily the road was relatively free. These are times when body is programmed for going into 'deep' sleep. Since that incident I take cabs for atleast a week after travel.
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Old 26th December 2016, 19:39   #92
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

Threads like this are needed to create awareness. Thanks GTO and other Bhpians for compiling this thread.

Our family has done a lot of MH-MP-GJ road trips in early 90's with our Maruti 800. My Dad till date follows all these rules. He always starts early (4-6 am) and does not drive beyond 5pm.

But, I have blatantly ignored those "golden rules" as I call them on a few occasions. After a few eye-openers, I too now follow and preach these rules.

Once me and my friends did a Bangalore-Mangalore-Bangalore trip from 10pm to 10pm which I had to drive all through. We had a few narrow escapes. I have never done it again and will never do such trips again.

I have been part of trips to Hampi and Coorg where a cab was hired and the cab driver could not drive steady at night. On all such occasions, we have either stopped for tea/sleep or both.

On last such weekend trip to Goa (4 years back), I tried hard convincing the folks that night driving is not a good idea. Nobody agreed that day, but they all do now.

My friends booked a Tempo Traveller and the plan was to start from Bangalore after office on Friday night. I was totally against the plan and booked myself a Volvo bus ticket. My bus left Bangalore at 8pm and I was in Goa the next day early morning. Whereas, my friends had started at 5pm (3 hours before me) and they reached at 1pm next day! The TT driver could not keep up with night driving and they had to halt for sleep (I'm glad they did that). Same story repeated on return journey. I was in office at 10am Monday and they reached Bangalore at 4pm.

I'd say, that my friends have learned it too - the hard way. Lets not talk about the fatigue and backaches. Nobody in my friend circle now plans such trips.
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Old 26th December 2016, 19:44   #93
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

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Originally Posted by Dhawal20 View Post
At times things can go really bad even when you are not behind the wheels. There have been multiple instances where I have encountered sleepy drivers while riding with cab services like Ola and Uber for early morning airport rides. I do make a point about it in my feedback, but don't think much is done about it.
Have experienced the same. I never book Uber/Ola for an early morning airport trip. I prefer Meru/Mega for early morning airport trips. They have speed limit warnings and I find their drivers better attuned to early morning driving. Maybe they are not tired with peak hour city drives.
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Old 27th December 2016, 08:58   #94
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

I should have been one of the earliest ones to post on this thread, what with the near misses I have had due to sleeping and driving!

- This was somewhere in the late nineties. I was on a KSRTC Bus from Chitradurga to Bangalore. As always, I was on the seat right in front, it was a TATA 1512TC with the door after the front axle and there was this 3 seater side facing bench right adjacent to the Driver, where I was sat. The bus left Chitradurga at 6:00 in the morning and reached Bangalore by 10:00. It must have been 8:30 in the morning, I saw the Driver sleep while at the wheel. It was a straight road, I remember praying hard for my life and did not have the common sense/courage to raise an alarm or wake the Driver up. Lucky for me, my prayers were answered and the Driver snapped out of his sleep within a few minutes, and all was well.

- The latest one, it was between 22:00 and 23:00 and I was in driving my Santro with family members between Salem and Bangalore. I began to feel sleepy around 20:00 but decided to push on since I wanted to reach Bangalore soon and hit the sack. I have had many sleeping at the wheel instances in the past so thought I could keep myself alert and not sleep this time. I tried blinking my eyes fast, changing my sitting posture every few minutes, playing favorite songs on the stereo etc. It did not help that all in the car were fast asleep themselves. Then it happened, for a few seconds between Krishnagiri and Hosur, I dozed off, it happened during a period of 10 minutes, I was asleep for maybe 10-15 seconds on 3 or 4 occasions, and thank God, nothing happened. How did I know, I could make out that I was waking up suddenly and feeling fresh, also I could not remember anything of the past 10-15 seconds that I had traversed

- On the same day at 11:00 I was driving between Tirunelveli and Madurai and again on the highway and all in the car fast asleep. I would have dozed off for 10-15 seconds again, I wake up and what I see is the backside of the old Swift Dzire, a few feet away from my triple digit speed Santro and braking. I slammed the brakes quite hard and swerved to miss the Dzire and lived to tell this tale. Nobody in the car realized what had happened, so I quietly buried the incident and moved on

There are other 5-6 instances but cannot recollect all

The most important one, I was driving from Bangalore to Hyderabad in the night in a Maruti 800. My only Sister was getting married 2 days later. 100 kilometers from Hyderabad I began to fall asleep, I was tempted to push on since Hyderabad was only 100 kilometers away, but better sense prevailed. I pulled over at a deserted petrol bunk and slept for 2-3 hours at the wheel. Then moved on once it was bright

Last edited by TheARUN : 27th December 2016 at 09:01.
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Old 27th December 2016, 12:41   #95
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

Its amazing how I read this post and was discussing about it with friends this past weekend on a trip to Nag tibba/Pantwari, Uttarakhand and on our way back, just short of the destination, saw a swift swerve and bang into the mountain curb side. The car had a family of 4, 2 kids and a couple, the woman was badly hurt on the shoulder, maybe a fracture but the man came out and after recovering from the shock, just managed to say he took a small "jhapki" which had led to this accident. I was so livid! how can people risk their own families lives when they know they're sleepy?! luckily no one was seriously injured but the problem with our country is even educated people lack common sense. The guy was in a full mood to start driving the half-dead car up to the destination which was still a good 5-6 kms away. We are in a desperate need of mass awareness campaigns regarding this problem.
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Old 27th December 2016, 22:53   #96
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

I too have a condition where I get pretty drowsy after lunch or dinner when I'm driving(I never have an afternoon seasta ). And since I drive 250 kms+ almost 4 times a week il for work it's a constant battle. I've found that chewing gum helps in coping if your are feeling sleepy. I always stock plenty of chewing gum in my car and have been driving much more alert after switching to this. But the thought of all that sugar does linger in my mind. Maybe they do make sugar free gum.

Last edited by mh09ad5578 : 27th December 2016 at 22:55.
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Old 28th December 2016, 01:27   #97
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Even if you know the route to your destination, keep Google Maps ON. If your ETA keeps going up slowly over time, it probably means you are not concentrating on your driving because of tiredness/drowsiness. It's my drowsiness early warning detection system.
I beg to differ. I feel Keeping that thing ON actually makes you push harder to reach the goal. It's a constant reminder that you are not making progress as you should be and in this process, one tends to ignore tiredness, sleep and go push harder to be within the timelines. Personally, I keep it switched off, and stick to certain speed as much as possible. Yellow warnings be damned. Of course, others may not be affected by it.

Among the things that are mentioned in the main post, I feel the straight arrow ways to be most difficult to drive during night. I can drive all night on undivided roads because constant traffic and turns keeps you on your toes.On monotonous highways, whenever I sense that it's becoming a hypnotizing experience or see things which are actually not present, I call for a break.

Very good article this! Sticky stuff!

Regards,
Sanjay

Last edited by Ryuu : 28th December 2016 at 01:28.
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Old 28th December 2016, 09:33   #98
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

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Originally Posted by themonster View Post
Amazing Post GTO

Your co-passenger or shotgun makes a big difference in the journey, whether its 100kms or 1000kms. Not just their mere presence, but also by their actions.

[/IMG]
Absolutely true.

I have this friend who rides shotgun with me and is usually a very quiet sort of chap. But when he sees that I am sleepy behind the wheel he starts his monologue on irrelevant stuff, which is very boring and irritating, but it sure keeps me awake. Would you believe that once he gave a speech on principals of marketing management for 2 hours, which is of no earthly value to me because I am a doctor.
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Old 28th December 2016, 10:04   #99
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

Assuming you need to continue driving, I think power naps work best for long drives - doesn't matter whether you are in a group or alone. A 15 minute slumber stopover followed by coffee/any beverage for that matter works wonders for 3-4 hour rides. I have done this multiple times when driving in excess of 12 hours in a day - the only problem I face is to find an appropriate location to park the car, especially at night.

Also, one can listen to various podcasts (there are fancy apps and some really good content out there), and if you choose a good theme (reality/politics/comedy), it sure does a good job of keeping you attentive.
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Old 28th December 2016, 10:41   #100
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Post Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

Once i had a close shave when i was returning to hyderabad from my colleague's marriage near tenali. Five of us in swift with me being the driver. We started at around 2 am, as we were new joinees and we don't have leaves during training. Others tried their best to keep me awake with songs and random talk.

Around 6 in the morning, i started dozing off. I fell asleep after a while, all i remember was the screeching sound of plastic wheel cover rubbing across divider. For a second i thought we were going to be dead. Immediately took control of steering wheel and slowed it down. Luckily got out of it with just the scratches on wheel cap .

It still sends shivers down my spine whenever i remember it.


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Old 28th December 2016, 12:36   #101
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

Highway safety begins with you knowing your own limits and comfort level and also nature of your car.

I have done countless runs on NH-1 with 4 passengers in Alto (!), SX4 and later my i20. With time, i refined and adopted following practices - these work for me but may not for others:

1. If starting in afternoon, always leave when it is full day light. Don't wait till 6 PM, preferably by 3-4 so that you may significant headway before it is night.

2. If starting in morning, wait till you naturally wake up. No point in setting up early alarms and bothering yourself.

3. Take break every 100-120 Km, around 2-2:30 hours of driving.

4. Practice driving slow as you approach your destination as it is that time you are most vulnerable.
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Old 28th December 2016, 12:42   #102
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

This is a good post. Useful.
A few points from my side.

You may refer to the attached image. Accupressure may help avoid drowsiness.

Press the top of the web portion of your palm. Between thumb and forefinger. It helps for a while.

Sometimes night driving is inevitable. Make sure you do not focus on any one source of light outside the car. It induces a mild trance. Every few minutes look left or right simply to keep the eye muscles active.

For the same reason, avoid staring into a river on a long bridge. It causes the same hypnotic effect.

Use Hans or any other tobacco to wipe clean the windshields. It keeps it fog free.

Make sure you have good headlights and that they are focussed correctly.
Speaking of focus, I would suggest the annual eye exam also includes a red green colour recognition test.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by hangover : 28th December 2016 at 12:43.
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Old 28th December 2016, 18:16   #103
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

One aspect that frequently gets overlooked is driving when emotionally stressed (medical emergencies, deaths in the family etc.).

It can become a dangerous cocktail: stress, potential lack of sleep combined with the hurry to get somewhere can all add up to a disaster.

If possible, always have someone else drive you on such occasions, or at least share the drive with you. They're disassociated with the event stressing you, and can help keep you focused/calm so you don't create another emergency while trying to reach an existing one.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 28th December 2016 at 18:18.
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Old 28th December 2016, 19:43   #104
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

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Originally Posted by hangover View Post
You may refer to the attached image. Accupressure may help avoid drowsiness.

Press the top of the web portion of your palm. Between thumb and forefinger. It helps for a while.
I got that as a whatsapp forward a longish time back and tried to put it into practice just yesterday around 8 pm so I wasn't even sleepy just tired and with less than half an hour to my destination .. disgustingly bad traffic on the bypass road had jerked me awake long back and a quiet stretch of highway afterwards was starting to make me sleepy after a full day of driving and a visit to a huge temple.

It did not work as advertised I am sorry to say. I had to find a reasonable place to pull over, wash my face and have some coffee. And even then I was shall we say fast asleep with my eyes open for some time till / even after the coffee kicked in, it was barely enough to get me to my destination. Out like a light and *snoring* the moment I hit my hotel bed and I'm not usually an early sleeper.

Last edited by hserus : 28th December 2016 at 19:45.
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Old 28th December 2016, 19:51   #105
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Default Re: Drowsiness & Sleepy Driving: The silent killer on Indian roads

This is a clip from the A2 highway in the Netherlands. I think this rear ending again happened due to drowsiness.

The impressive thing to note however is that the Tesla was able to predict the car crash 2 vehicles ahead

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