"It couldn't happen to me" - andymc {P}
Funny that this should be written at a time when everyone is worried about their ice-driving skills, but perhaps this will be a little safety reminder for the Back Room.

Last night my smoke alarm chose to malfunction and shriek the house awake no less than three times, starting about 2 am. I ended up taking the fuse out, despite my usual attitude that it should always be operational. Due to the cold weather, my alarm is set three quarters of an hour earlier than usual to allow for a safe travel time, so my actual sleep time over the night probably totalled no more than an hour. I dosed myself with coffee at breakfast and throughout the day at work, which was just as well since the heating in the office chose to operate at low output only. Having spent a sleepless night and a freezing day, I was not in top form. I got in the car, turned the heat up to full and started my 50-minute journey home just after 6 pm. The car was soon lovely and warm. At about 6.35, while I was cruising along the motorway at around 55, my wife rang me on the mobile. Good thing too, because I had just fallen asleep at the wheel.

I knew I was tired, and for that reason had been deliberately driving quite moderately for the whole journey. But I hadn't thought for a second that I was in any danger of actually nodding off, although I do remember thinking that the drive was starting to get a little hypnotic. Of course, after jolting awake I pulled onto the next offslip and walked around for a few minutes to get the blood going before completing my journey with the heating turned down.

I know this probably only lasted a couple of seconds, because I was less than a half a mile beyond the onslip when the phone rang. Still, the thought of the possible consequences, and what I could have been responsible for, horrifies me. From now on, turning up on time and doing a full day's work when I am exhausted will no longer be a priority. Good night everyone.
it couldn't happen to me - HF
Exactly, Andy -

Like we said on here a few days ago, better late than never.

Take care and keep safe
it couldn't happen to me - MikeC
Like we said on here a few days ago, better late
than never.

Or to put it another way. Better to be late in this world, than early in the next.

It nearly happened to me too - Ian Cook
You're a very lucky man, Andy.

Tiredness has hit me several times, but I usually detect some early sypmtoms such as yawning. At the first sign I pull off the road and take forty winks - then get out of the car and walk about. I read an article in an in-flight magazine once which extolled the virtues of "power napping" and it certainly works for me.

Ian Cook
It nearly happened to me too - Citroënian {P}
Good to see you're still here to post messages, Andy. I'm sure we've all driven when more tired than we should be.

The worst instance I can recall is travelling from Great Ayton in North Yorks/Cleveland to Barnsley late one Saturday night. Not that I was in a bad state when I left, but for that entire journey (most of it on the A19, A1(M) and M1 there was nowhere to stop and rest. The journey was probably about 1h 20m on fast roads.

We really need more rest areas like you find in France where you can stop and rest before completing the journey. Seems to me that unless someone is making £££, there's no interest from the Govt to build these safety spaces.

They spend goodness knows how much on speed cameras because of the £ factor. Seems to me that falling asleep at the wheel is probably a lot more dangerous than speeding....


It nearly happened to me too - BrianW
Unfortunately, it does happen to me.

Quite often it's in the early afternoon or after eating. However, I recognise the warning sign of double vision.

The lack of rest-places on motorways and main roads, though, does make stopping for a walk/drink difficult.
smoke alarms - volvoman
Don't forget to get that smoke alarm working again Andy !
It couldn't happen to me - Soupytwist
Over the summer I started a new job which requires me to drive to work rather than take the train as had been the case. At the same time our first child was born. Despite the increased money, prospect of getting home earlier, more holidays etc. I really agonised over the decision because I was concerned that with the sleepless nights a new baby inevitably brings I would be in serious danger of falling asleep while driving to or from work.

In the end I took it and so far, touch wood, I’ve been fine thanks to the largely benign sleeping patterns of our son.

Matthew Kelly
No, not that one.
It couldn't happen to me - Maz
If I'm tired, or in danger of becoming tired, I pull into a garage and buy an energy drink. Red Bull is very useful in this situation.

You may not like the taste or the image, but if you drink a can before you climb back into the car, there's really no way you'll sleep for the next couple of hours.
It couldn't happen to me - Blue {P}
Pleased to hear you got away with it Andy.

"You may not like the taste or the image,"

What's wrong with the image of Red Bull? I find that mixed with Vodka it's brilliant at keeping me going. :)

It couldn't happen to me - HF
It couldn't happen to me - Dan J
A sobering message andymc - Thank you for posting it and all I can say is thank god your wife called you when she did and you were able to tell the tale.

It just goes to show how easy it can happen as well and it is a lesson to us all.

A safer 2003 to you...

Dan J
It couldn't happen to me - tone
Would have been fairly ironic if you were pulled after being woken by the phone for using the phone.
It couldn't happen to me - Ian (Cape Town)
a local driver pulled in to the side (hard shoulder) to take a call, and was rammed from behind 2 minutes later by a very drunken driver! Ironic or what?
It couldn't happen to me - andymc {P}
Hello again everyone,
Today I've been mulling over what happened, as well as what could have happened. Obviously, no-one was hurt at all and the only real outcome is that I've had a brisk but ultimately painless lesson.
I take safe driving quite seriously. On reflection, I have long considered myself to be a safe, sensible, careful and (most of all) aware driver - I always keep my distance, never cut people up, always consider the road conditions, monitor my speed, etc. I've been complimented more than once for my competence behind the wheel and my good defensive driving.
From this perspective then, in addition to the main outcome, I was stunned that this happened at all, in a "me, of all people" sense, hence the title of this thread. This was my reason for posting - I guess it's just too easy to become complacent, to assume that because I don't drive like a fool I can't die like one, and I'd rather that anyone reading this thread might be able to learn from my mistake rather than suffering from one of their own.
Also, thank you to everyone who posted replies and for the positive tone of them all.
It couldn't happen to me - HF
Thanks to you to, Andy, we listen and learn here...
Yes it could. - Onetap
Cold weather (heating on) + smoke alarm going off + tiredness

Possibly symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.


Check your (gas?) boiler, yellow or orange flame suggests a problem. Check the ventilation if you use solid fuel.

It's not very likely so sorry if I've alarmed you, but it's possible. And yes, I do realise the tiredness might be due to 1 hours sleep.

Yes it could. - Onetap
PS Please confirm you've read the above. I worry.
Yes it could. - andymc {P}
Just happened to check for an overdue message, and saw this. No boiler (or any form of combustion) inside the house. Thanks for your concern though!
Time for bed. Later start tomorrow ;)
But not yet! - Onetap
Good. Thanks for the reply.

Ask Honest John

Value my car