First time for everything...I don't want it to happen again!

@jillhill (37386)
United States
October 5, 2011 11:46am CST
I went to visit my friend in Wisconsin last weekend. I get up at 4 a.m. then worked all day...then ran home and finished packing and headed out. It was a beautiful day. I take some shortcuts on the 200 mile trip and the back roads are not so busy. I had the windows open...the tunes cranked up...the sun was warm on my face and I dozed off!!! Yup! I suddenly woke up...over the center line headed right for the ditch. There was a car behind me but none right ahead so I was lucky that I didn't hit anyone. I knew I was feeling sleepy but I didn't think I was that tired! I pulled over at the next town and bought a big drink with caffiene in it....and walked around a bit. Have you ever dozed off while driving? Have you gotten so tired you had to stop and walk around? I am very lucky that I am alive today. I hope it never happens to you!
7 people like this
20 responses
@carmelanirel (20979)
• United States
5 Oct 11
Oh no, I am also glad you didn't get hurt, that is scary. I don't have access to a car all the time, so I rarely am tired when I do drive. I think if I did, I would do something to wake me up, caffeine or the A/C on high. Of course I am sure when you woke up on the other side of the road, that helped wake you up real quick too...
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
5 Oct 11
It did....and kept me awake the rest of the trip!
3 people like this
• United States
5 Oct 11
Yep, that is what my husband says when he drifts off.He also calls me, so if you ever find yourself tired and can't pull over, call someone..Though I think using the cell phone and driving is dangerous, but if it keep you awake, then it might be worth the risk until you can pull over, wake up, or get some rest before continuing..
2 people like this
@GardenGerty (95765)
• Marion, Kansas
6 Oct 11
Yes, I slept through four exits one time when I was on a trip and I had my two kids with me. Luckily I woke up and I had held pretty steady on the road. It is very scary. Even at about two in the morning. I was on the interstate.
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
6 Oct 11
That is sooooo scary! Glad you made it okay too!
@Nadinest1 (2040)
• Canada
5 Oct 11
driving tired - We must never drive sleepy
OMG! I am glad you are OK. This is a topic in my house often because my husband is a truck driver. He is on a scheduled run and back home everyday. He drives 500 miles/day and gets up around 3am....so, needless to say, he is also early to bed every night. He needs to be rested. he cannot be driving that truck when he is tired. He has energy drinks with him in the truck in case he needs then....he doesn't drink them often because he has heard me complain about how had for his health they are. Please try to get enough rest before your next trip.
2 people like this
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
6 Oct 11
Will do!
@stary1 (6622)
• United States
5 Oct 11
Thank heavens you are ok!! I bet you feel blessed and cared for and watched over.. I have never experienced anyhting like this but others tell of times they dozed off,it's really scary to think about. It also reaffirms ..if it's not your time, you will be fine.. .Glad all is well
2 people like this
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
5 Oct 11
THanks!
1 person likes this
@2004cqui (2823)
• United States
5 Oct 11
That happened to me once. I found myself over the center line. My eyes were open, my mind gave up. I am so happy your experience didn't take out anyone's life! I never drive sleepy anywhere any more.
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
5 Oct 11
I know that when I feel that tired I will stop next time..and also load up on caffiene if I am tired!
2 people like this
@KrauseHome (34760)
• United States
5 Oct 11
This would be SCARY and glad God was on your side. I know my husband has been known to almost doze off when driving as he gets so tired. Especially with my working Swing shift, and him working days, and him having to come and pick me up from work every night at 12:30 a.m. I know a lot of times he has to have me stay awake and talk with him just so he can stay awake.
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
5 Oct 11
I wonder how many people are in danger like this but don't even realize it until something happens. Carrie Underwoods song...Jesus take the Wheel ran through my head the rest of the trip...He was truly watching over me!
2 people like this
@KrauseHome (34760)
• United States
7 Oct 11
Yes he was my friend, and I am so glad that everything turned out OK.
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
5 Oct 11
Now that's scary. Am so glad nothing happened to you. Surprised the driver behind you didn't start honking. I have done that in the past. I haven't had this happen since I am usually so alert when I drive. Also try not to start out anywhere if I am sleepy. Someone was watching over you. Take care, carolbee
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
5 Oct 11
Someone was watching over me...that song by Carrie Underwood...Jesus take the Wheel was going over and over in my mind afterwards!
2 people like this
@carolbee (16241)
• United States
21 Oct 11
Brings tears to my eyes.
@katsmeow1213 (29016)
• United States
6 Oct 11
That's scary! I don't think I've ever fully dozed off, but I know I've driven a few times while I was drowsy enough to doze off! Once was while driving home from a concert. The concert was 4 hours away, I went by myself, because it was kind of a teenager boy band thing, and I was in my 20's and didn't really know anyone who liked the band (N*Sync). Concert ended around 11pm.. got on the thruway to head home at probably around midnight, and it was a 4 hour drive, and I'd been up all day. Probably couldn't sleep the night before from excitement. Well I remember being so tired on the way home that I kept telling myself that I should pull over and sleep, but by the time the exhaustion really hit me I was less than an hour from home, so I just pushed myself to get home. It was really hard to push off the sleep, my head kept drooping like I was falling asleep, but I'd catch myself quickly.. so I never fully fell asleep. I was very lucky to make it home allright that night!
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
6 Oct 11
We were both lucky! And several other people here are also!
• Philippines
6 Oct 11
Well that's good to know that you didn't hit anyone. Though I haven't tried that, but as I picture it out in my mind, it's kinda scary. You should be thankful that there were no cars ahead of you because if there were, that sure would be a big problem. Hope it would never happen to you again. Take care.
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
6 Oct 11
Same here!
@bagarad (10695)
• Paso Robles, California
6 Oct 11
I'm so glad Jesus "took the wheel" for you and you made it safely home. They saw drowsy drivers are just as impaired as drunk drivers. So we do have to be careful. I have never fallen asleep at the wheel, but there are times I came close. I often had to drive long distances late at night when traveling, and when the last leg of the journey is on a two -lane, straight highway, it's very easy to get road hypnosis. If I'm alone or I am in unfamiliar territory, it's even worse. The time I came closest to falling asleep though, was when Jason and I were driving home from our final trip from Seattle and moving our belongings back home. My husband and daughter were in another car, since we had moved to Seattle at different times and each brought a car. We also had two loads of belongings and my husband was towing a trailer. We had left Grant's Pass, OR in the morning and needed to get to Ventura County in California to get home. We had stopped for lunch and dinner, and then we just headed for home and were no longer caravaning. We were making pretty good time in my Voyager, and about 11 PM I told Jason we'd be home in an hour. We were on I-5 near Hughes Lake Road somewhere between the Grape Vine and Magic Mountain. The road was clear and we were doing 70. And then we noticed red lights ahead. We were getting closer to other cars and traffic was stalling. That's usually no big deal, but kind of rare in that area at that time of night. After we had been at a stand still for about 20 minutes, we turned the radio on and learned there was a sig alert for a 20-car pile-up in front of us. A tomato truck had turned over and we were told it would be hours before the freeway traffic could move. We had no idea where my husband's car was. By this time, people were parked and getting out of their cars and walking around talking to other drivers. No one had cell phones in 1988, and so I walked over to a truck to ask the driver if he could use his CB to ask someone closer to the accident if a white Volvo wagon was in that pile-up. He was kind enough to do that, and said there wasn't any white Volvo involved in the accident. At about 2 AM the radio said the freeway would remain closed until morning. We had our sleeping bags and decided to wrap up in them and go to sleep. When I was almost asleep, and Jason was sound asleep, traffic began to move again. I got my sleeping bag off me and tried to wake up. I was about an hour from home. I was very tired. I was wondering if I should try to find a motel, but there wasn't one very close. I decided to try and make it home. After about half an hour, I found a convenience store still open in Simi Valley and stopped to get a coke, even though the thought of it amost made me sick. I don't like coffee, but I had to have caffeine. Jason was still asleep, so I couldn't count on him to keep me awake. I think I did have the radio on, and maybe even some peppy music, but I was really tired. Even 40 minutes from home I was wondering if we should find a motel. But I was so close. By the grace of God we made it home at 4 AM. We didn't see the Volvo, so we didn't know if My husband and Sarah and the cat (whom they had with them) had stopped somewhere. Jason and I went right to bed. I got up to go to the bathroom about 8 AM still didn't see the car, but a few minutes later Jason knocked on my door and told me the cat was home. So I knew we were all accounted for. I guess my husband and Sarah had come in very quietly so as not to wake us up. Now if we drive anywhere, we make sure we have a lively music CD in the car to play if there is no radio reception or we can't find a good station. My husband and I both play polkas or march music if we start to get sleepy. When I was having to drive back and forth to clean up my mil's house two hours away every weekend, I would always stop midway and get something to eat and drink and wake up, because the drive on both sides of the fast food place in King City was dark and rural, and the roads were straight. I never got too tired on those drives because I did take the break. Just getting out of the car and getting into a place with people and lights at night and getting some caffeine helps.
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
6 Oct 11
I think sometimes we underestimate how tired we really are! And with the circumstances for me it was that the warm sun was shining on my face..and I think that is part of why I go so sleepy!
@AmbiePam (47872)
• United States
5 Oct 11
Oh no! That has never happened to me, but I was with my late grandpa when it happened to him. We were driving and he started to go across the line into the next lane. I thought he was changing lanes without signaling. Until I looked at him and saw his eyes were closed. I hurriedly woke him up and we made it to his house okay. He asked me not to tell my grandma, but I did. He had started to decline, and that was something I know my grandma needed to know about. My dad used to work 48 hours straight and then drive two hours to see my mom when they were dating. One night he woke up as he was getting close to the median on the turnpike. You know those things they put on the road that make noise when you drive on them? Like cobblestone almost? He said if he hadn't driven over those to get to the median he would not have woken up. Since that time he pulls over at rest stops if he is feeling even a little sleepy. I remember him doing that when I was a kid on vacation. In fact, he was interviewed on our local news this summer. It was funny. They had stopped between Tulsa and Norman (where we live) at a tourist info center. He pulled over to get a little nap. They went inside though so my mom could use the bathroom, and there was the reporter and camera crew. And they were talking about that very thing.
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
5 Oct 11
Wow! Glad you are okay too! Good for your dad for pulling over....I did too after I got to the next town!
• United States
5 Oct 11
Yes I used to do it a lot when driving home from work. It is not good and very dangerous. You are very lucky that no one was in other lane. I guess it is probably best to keep a caffeine drink with you in the car and maybe sipping it the whole time. That is very scary and I am glad that you are fine. Take care.
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
5 Oct 11
Make sure you take care now when you are driving home! We want you to be safe too!
@ravinskye (8243)
• United States
5 Oct 11
My friend and I were just talking about this last week lol. I was telling her how tense I get in the car sometimes when my husband is driving because he either is looking out the window at something and not paying attention or sometimes he dozes off while he's driving. One time we were on our way home from a big Easter dinner at my grandmothers. The kids and I both dozed off. I woke up and needed a drink, I looked up just in time to see we were going off the road and my husband was sleeping. If I had slept like 2 minutes longer we could have landed in a lake! There was one time going into town with the kids in my car that the sun was shining and I got drowsy and really had to fight to keep my eyes open. I vowed never again to drive when I haven't had enough sleep. I'm glad you are safe :)
1 person likes this
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
5 Oct 11
I am glad you are too!
• United States
5 Oct 11
Oh my and I am glad you did not have a serious accident. Yes I have done this as well as I too use to go to Wisconsin routinely as my son went to College there. I do remember working graveyard shifts at a hospital years ago, for which I had to drive on the expressway and was always tired, as I had to get the kids off to school shortly after arriving home. One of which was only in school for 2 1/2 hours so I only slept for about an hour a day, before I had to return to my routine at home and work again that night. I once was driving my old van and had both of my children in the car, I was very close to home but all of a sudden my body completely shut down. My son who was sitting in the way back seat yelled MOM!! My daughter who was sitting beside me was reading a book and had not noticed. I was heading head on to a huge truck and when my son screamed it woke me up and I stopped my van about an 1/8th cm head on to the truck. I was very blessed not to have hit it and or killed us all in the process. It was then that I made a change and did not work this shift again. That lesson taught me that it was not just my life I was gambling with, so anytime I went to Wisconsin, during the weekends and felt the dozing while driving I did as you and would stop just about anywhere and walk around for a bit. Thankfully the both of us are here today, discussing this so that others may want to think twice about taking such risks.
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
5 Oct 11
I am so glad you are okay too! We were very lucky!
1 person likes this
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
8 Oct 11
I'm glad nothing bad happened to you, Jill! Sometimes, even if we really are not tired or sleepy, the weather or something in the environment (like songs) can make us feel sleepy. Maybe the wind, the sun and the tunes made you feel sleepy that day. It was a good decision that you stopped over to shook off the sleepiness. Glad you're okay! Take care always!
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
8 Oct 11
Thanks....it was partically due to the sun....warming my face...making me sleepy!
1 person likes this
@secretbear (19466)
• Philippines
9 Oct 11
I knew it! Sometimes, the sun makes me sleepy, too! Although, not while driving.
• United States
7 Oct 11
Oh My G-d! be careful! I have few good friends. I can't afford to lose any!
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
7 Oct 11
THanks...you are too sweet girl!
1 person likes this
@lilybug (21148)
• United States
6 Oct 11
I have dozed off momentarily while driving before, but only for a split second. Not long enough to cross lanes or anything. I had stopped and gotten something to drink with caffeine and to move around. I blast the music and keep the windows rolled down if it is cold outside. I am really glad you are ok. I would hate for something to happen to you while driving.
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
7 Oct 11
And I am also glad you are okay...I guess the best thing to do is to stop and walk around and have some caffiene!
@cher913 (25893)
• Canada
6 Oct 11
my hubby used to work nights in a city about 40 minutes from where we live and i know what you mean. he used to tell me he didnt remember some of the land marks on the way home which really scared me. good thing he doesnt work there any more. maybe you should have had a nap before you left.
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
6 Oct 11
I think you are right!
@Hatley (164772)
• Garden Grove, California
6 Oct 11
hi jillhill wow I can imagine that was really scary too. But thank goodness you woke to see what was happening in time to get free from a possible disaster. I do not drive bu t I had a friend who is a fellow diabetic. I had warned him to check his blood glucose before he left on his trip. He said he was fine. A little later I learned from his brother that John went low blood sugar,fell asleep and plowed into another car. He was in the hospital with broken ribs and broken hip but alive. the other driver was killed so now the police were going to call it involuntary manslaughter so we do not know if John will have a prison sentence or a huge fine.There will be a trial just by the judge.Odd how men will refuse to listen to a woman trying to tell them to always check your blood sugar before driving anywhere.You get very drowsy and can fall asleep even when dri ving and cause a bad accident.He hit the other car on the driver 's side really hard so he must have lost complete control of his car.
@jillhill (37386)
• United States
6 Oct 11
Yikes! I hope it all turns out okay for him...I think he is probably kicking himself for not listening!
@stephcjh (32328)
• United States
10 Oct 11
I have been like that several times and I hated it. It was always on my way home from work and the sun in my eyes too.