Driving is an often made up of compromise. We may want to travel to a certain location, but know it will take too long because it is too far away, or because traffic is too congested. When it is for something extraordinary, we may make exceptions. While we would normally never consider driving long distances at night for something mundane, for a vacation, we may decide it is worth the risk and hassle.
Some in the Baltimore area, for instance, may consider driving to a place like Disney World, nonstop. Google maps tells us it is only little more 13 hours, and it save the overnight cost of a hotel and it gives you an additional day to enjoy the park.
But the 13 hours is really driving nonstop, and you have to stop for food, gas and the inevitable bathroom breaks, meaning it is likely to be more like 15 to 17 or more hours on the road.
Sure, the interstate highway is reasonably safe, making it easy to cruise along for hours. But if you decide to drive overnight, you could fall victim to the danger of drowsy driving.
A tragic “dream trip” to Disney World ended in three hours after a terrible car accident, where a 16-year-old driver fell asleep, drifted into the median, overcorrected and caused the SUV to roll. The roll ejected five members of his family, who all died of their injuries.
He suffered minor injuries, because he was wearing a seatbelt, and two other children survived with injuries.
Driving mile after mile on an interstate at night is a challenging experience. Drowsy driving is a dangerous, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 6,000 fatalities every year are likely to have been caused by sleepy drivers.
No matter the reason, unless you are fully rested and wide-awake, driving long distances overnight carry a great deal of risk. Tragic accidents like this never need to happen.
The Washington Post, “‘Dream trip’ to Disney ends in horrific crash that kills five in same family,” Lindsey Bever, November 21, 2014