Monday, September 13, 2010

Alert Driving

I was reading an article that really . . . well made me say "whoa." So I thought I would share it with you.

Click here to read the news article.

The gist is that an elementary school, tired of reckless driving and child fatalities, has spent $15,000 to have a 3-D holographic image of a little girl chasing a ball appear in the road when you drive past the elementary school.

I support careful driving and not hitting children, but I am not sure about this method. Part of me fears that instead of just braking, someone might brake and swerve and hit a real child. That would be so tragic. It just seems like putting in a speed bump would get people to stop speeding. I guess part of the problem is parents speeding, pulling U-turns, and talking on their cell phones as they drop their children off. And a speed bump would really only help with the speeding.

I don't know what a good solution is, but I guess it is good that they're doing something, and we'll see how this works out for them.

Distracted driving isn't really an issue with me. Drowsy driving is my personal problem. It was really bad in high school. I even fell asleep once while actually driving and was in the other lane when my cousin woke me up. That was scary, but we were lucky and there was no oncoming traffic. Other than that, I've only actually fallen asleep at red lights and even occasionally stop signs. Since leaving high school and getting more sleep and being physically healthier, I haven't had as many problems staying awake driving. (I am capable of falling asleep while singing. So singing doesn't work when I'm driving. My solution was keeping contact solution with me and dropping it in my eyes. That kept me awake behind the wheel.)

However, being pregnant has made me tired all the time again. I actually thought I might be pregnant before I actually knew, because I was driving to a friend's child's piano recital, and I started having to fight dosing off. I give rides quite frequently, usually about ten or so a week to various friends, and recently if the friend and I are not talking, it is getting difficult to stay alert. I am not sure what to do. I'm going to bed in time to have my eight hours, but waking up with Jill or the new baby (aka having to pee) is interrupting my needed sleep. And I've been too busy recently to nap with Jill. It was really pathetic this last weekend. I had a slumber party with some besties from high school, and I had to pull over THREE TIMES because I was getting drowsy. (I've learned my lesson from high school.) Twice, I got a 10 to 15 minute nap in before Jill would wake up, and the third time, I said "sorry unborn baby" and got a carbonated, caffeinated beverage. Better to give a fetus carbonation and caffeine than die on the highway, I always say. (Okay, not always. I've actually never had the opportunity to need to say that before.)

Anyway, I'm just getting frustrated. It's not plausible to stop driving. I have service to do and errands to run, but I can't endanger myself and those in my vehicle. With my glasses, the eye drops are no longer very convenient. Does anyone have any tips on staying alert while driving? What could I eat other than like sour worms that would keep me up? Is there a power food that is healthy and a "waker up"? Windows down, cold air, radio on, singing . . . none of those work for me. I've tried slapping, but when I get drowsy, I forget to keep slapping myself.

I wish Jill could just talk to me. I don't fall asleep when I'm talking to someone.

So yeah, if you have any advice, let me hear it. Or if you have opinions on the 3D girl in the street, I'm interested in those, too.


  1. I read the same article, and I also had concerns. My main concern was one that was mentioned in the article (well, I didn't click on your article, so it may not be the same one I read, but in my article it mentioned...) that drivers may just become so used to seeing the "little girl" that they wouldn't slow down or stop when a real child was in the way, and that would be catastrophic, obviously... so that worries me. That the drivers would become conditioned to "driving over" little children.

    Have you tried eating an apple? I heard once that apples have the same properties as coffee for keeping you awake. Or maybe something citrusy, like an orange? I know you don't like fruit very much, but it might help.

    Devin always takes his shoes off and sucks on hard candy when he has to stay awake while driving. Candy like lifesavers.

    I love you Meems, good luck! I hate being tired, so I hope you feel better soon.

    And, just to cement this in as the longest comment ever: how did you put drops in your eyes while singing? I mean, didn't the audience notice, and wonder what you were doing?

  2. personally, i like the sour worms idea :)
    and i guess talking on the phone would kinda defeat the purpose huh? not so safe anyways? hehe do you have one of those bluetooth things for your cell phone in your van? or what about the ear thing so you can still talk with a hands free device??

  3. SUNFLOWER SEEDS. Seriously, they saved me on the numerous trips between Utah and Colorado, and the THREE 36 hour drives from Colorado to Maine and back. And back again.

  4. I added a few words, so hopefully the eye drop thing makes sense now. ;)

  5. I read that article. I think it's a bad idea (like others think) because people will get used to "running over" children. Or they might swerve and cause other problems. I agree that a speed bump is probably better.

    I can NOT fall asleep in the car. I think I am afraid of it enough to not let myself relax in any vehicle, because my dad fell asleep behind the wheel before he married my mom and got in a HORRIBLE accident. He lost his front teeth, broke his nose in two different places, and had over 200 stitches in his head/face! I don't have any real advice though.

  6. Jeff Sutton suggested that I suck on an M&M and and then peel off the shell when it softens with my tongue; I actually do this on long drives now; seems to help.

    Perhaps eight hours is not enough sleep at this particular time. I'm just saying.

  7. I agree with dad; 8 hours might not be enough. I would sleep as long as Annibelle does when i was pregnant with Callie; that sometimes meant 10+ hours a night. (Of course, we were also going to bed after midnight every night so I was ALWAYS tired).
    As for natural 'power foods', well, I suppose this isn't a food, but rather a form of supplement, but barley powder. Sounds nasty, but I have it in tablet form and whenever I am feeling super tired or even feel like I might be getting sick I take a few of these and in 20 minutes I feel brand new! The natural vitamins/minerals in barley is truly amazing! I'll mail a bottle your way if you like.
    As for me; when I'm tired and driving I put on upbeat music; I have a play list on my ipod just for this; "Mindee's Jammin' Mix". I 'jam' to it and sing along. I've never fallen asleep while singing. =)


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