A Legendary Conquest
It’s the stuff that legends are made of. A young, successful couple go on a quest to prove to the world that vegans can do anything by climbing the Seven Summits — the tallest mountains in the world.
One of their expedition leaders has a similar goal: to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. He finally succeeds on this, his fourth attempt, but on the way down, he had spent all he had and pays the ultimate price. . . The young couple both in their 30s, don’t make it to the top and also pay a price. Youth alone does not provide any immunity against altitude sickness in the death zone. She dies and he is stricken . . .
What’s the connection to transportation, you might ask?
We can see similar results everyday when drivers push themselves beyond their personal limits. Perhaps they are tired or not feeling well. Perhaps their health isn’t what it used to be. Perhaps their schedule was delayed and their sleep cycle was interrupted.
But they push on. They are so focused on the mission they miss their own vital signs. They bop until they literally drop.
In the majority of cases, pushing to the limits results in single vehicle collision. The truck runs off of the road. Sometimes the driver is seriously injured. If the vehicle rolls, it is likely the driver will be seriously injured or even fatally injured, His driving career is tarnished and could be over . . .
If the driver finds himself in the Land of Nod on a heavily traveled road, he may crash into other vehicles. If so, there is the likelihood of multiple injuries or even fatalities.
If the driver survives, he will be in a world of hurt. The odds are that his driving career is over. He may be sued with his company. He may be criminally prosecuted and jailed.
It doesn’t matter how good his driving record. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t intend for a collision to happen. There will people looking for justice or the closest thing they can get to justice.
Who’s to Blame?
Is the driver to blame? Is the carrier to blame? Is no one to blame? Is the “system” to blame?
Will new technology solve this problem?
Time will tell.
In the meantime, drivers need to know their limits. Drivers need to learn how to read their own vital signs. They need to know about fatigue management and the signs of sleep.
The one thing we know about sleep for sure is that you can not fight it. When your brain shuts down, there is little a person can do other than get some needed rest.
Don’t try to make the climb if you can’t do it. Stay out of the zone of death. Know when to say no . . .
Thank you for reading this.