Drowsy Driving is Reckless Driving
By Sarah Marie H.
I never knew the true impact of drowsy driving, until I experienced it myself. It all started last year when I was in driving school. I was excited to get behind the wheel to practice my skills. The night before my first driving session, I had a difficult time going to sleep. I decided to watch a couple of movies until I was sleepy enough to go to bed. Unfortunately, I went to sleep very late. I woke up before 9 a.m. and I was still tired. To get rid of the fatigue, I decided to drink some coffee to get some energy into my system.
It was a hot summer morning. My instructor arrived to start my very first lesson. As soon as I entered the vehicle, I could feel the air conditioner blasting cold air (which was not the best thing, when I am driving). The first 30 minutes of my driving session went very well and my instructor was really impressed. Unfortunately, it went downhill after that.
The cold air from the air conditioner started to make me feel really drowsy. Also, the caffeine in my system started wearing off. Then the uncontrollable yawning began. These factors affected the way I was driving. My turns were either too wide or too sharp, and I was not looking at my surroundings before I changed lanes.
I was ashamed when my instructor told me to pull over and asked me what happened. When I told her about my situation, she was furious! She said I wasn’t in the right state of mind to start driving. Thinking back now, I understand why she would feel that way. By making this stupid mistake, I realized that not only had I risked my own life, but I also risked the life of my driving instructor. I don’t know what I would do if that day had ended differently. I am very lucky nothing happened and it definitely gave me a reason to be more careful when I am driving.