An Early AM Collision
At about 4 AM on Wednesday, Feb. 22nd, the 30-year-old female driver and her companion were headed down East I-94 near Exit 145 “at full speed,” according to Michigan State Police.
They were headed in the wrong direction.
That’s when, just west of the Sargent Road exit, they struck a tractor-trailer head-on and square-on and were fatally injured. The truck driver was hospitalized with minor injuries. It took over seven hours to clear the scene and open I-94.
Night Driving can be Dangerous Driving
While it’s not yet known if alcohol or drugs played a role in this crash, it’s a well known fact that late at night there are more inebriated and/or medicated people on the highways. Bars can close anywhere from 2 AM to 4 AM in the lower 48 states, and between 4 AM and 5 AM in Hawaii and Alaska, respectively.
Older drivers cannot see as well at night, and any driver at any age can develop eye issues.
Tip: “Many eye diseases have no symptoms, which is why I tell my patients it’s important to get a routine eye exam every year whether you think you have a vision problem or not.” Richard E Gans, M.D., FACS , the Cleveland Clinic Cole Eye Institute
Truck drivers need to have their eyes checked as well by medical professionals. In addition, they should be periodically trained in driving at night.
Know the Facts
Besides learning about night driving techniques, drivers should understand fatigue management and the effects of fatigue at different ages and stages of their lives.
Did you know the driver most vulnerable and at-risk to suddenly nodding off while driving is a young man in his early 20s? A driver in this age range can more easily fall asleep as the night wears on, while driving in fog, or starting out tired.
Drivers need to know about the signs of fatigued driving: changes in lane position or speed, impaired driving performance (poor gear changes, slower reaction times, etc.), and physical signs as yawning, heavy or pinched eyes, irritability, etc.
Seriously . . .
Like the crash above, night time accidents are more likely to be serious crashes. If a truck driver falls asleep, there is no telling where he could end up.
The best personal advice I’ve received about night driving is to simply stop before you’re too tired. It’s not easy these days to find a good rest area to park.
So know the signs of sleep, and pull over. Drivers need to be alert not only to protect themselves, but to respond to the mistakes of others.
Rest up, buckle up, and shut down when you have the need.
Thank you for reading this.