Oleg Radul is an experienced traveler. Recently, in a car accident, he lost his friends. And he wrote a very good text-warning for all of us. Save it for yourself. And share it with friends, it’s really important.
40 days ago, my friends crashed to death on the road to the mountains because everyone was asleep in the car, including the driver. When someone strangers breaks, you often think: “Probably, the guy was a leech / inexperienced / overly self-confident, etc., this will not happen to us.”
But this time was just the opposite. Here, the children died, who constantly, during the last 10-15 years, almost every month, they drove to the mountains and then to the sea, winding thousands of kilometers without stopping. Long-range experience they have – more than enough! That Vadim, who called himself “professional balabolom”: could day and night chatter with any driver, even strangers. That Smolin, who traveled more accurately than me, always closely monitored his condition. All of them perfectly knew how to fight with sleep, feel the onset of fatigue, and understand the moment when it’s time for the driver to change … After learning about the accident, many could not even believe that one of them could fall asleep at the wheel. And yet, it happened. Only once, but so that all three were enough.
Looking at their mutilated car, having visited the scene of the accident, looking through the records from the registrar, I quite clearly realized for myself such a simple, in general, logical thing: “I can not say that I’m smarter or more experienced than someone of them. That age, that experience, that the driving style we all have, plus or minus the same. And so I, just like them, can easily die on the road in this way. ”
And here again I return to my old question: how to avoid it. Having started to ride long distances, about ten years ago, I first of all began to search for myself the most effective methods of fighting sleep. I remember I had a whole arsenal of different ways to cheer up: coffee, seeds, energy, walking, gymnastics, etc.
And then I realized that I was looking for something completely different! None of them can guarantee me security. After all, this is the paradox: all this is nothing more than ways to continue the movement, and most importantly – to be able to stop on time! And here the folk wisdom “Tired – rest”, which I heard a million times, can not go. What do you mean tired? Von all Moscow home after work tired ride, and what? Where are the objective criteria, when fatigue can still be patiently tolerated, and when is it definitely time to go to the side? And these criteria should be clear and unambiguous .
In general, I have five such criteria. They are checked by hundreds of sleepless nights on the car that is on the yacht. And the rule is very simple: it is better to not bring yourself to such a state at all. But if suddenly there comes at least one of these signs, I immediately change without thinking. Or, if I have no one to change, I stand on the sidelines to sleep. Because you can not go on.
So, there are five objective signs that you are about to fall asleep:
1. You notice the moment of blinking
This is the most obvious and unambiguous criterion. Try to remember the moment when you blinked the last time? That’s the same! The fact is that in a normal state a person does not notice the moment when he blinks. It happens so fast that you simply do not pay attention. But when it becomes clear, then it’s not about the usual blinking, but about the beginning of the shutdown – immediately on the roadside!
2. The deception of view
The figures on the roadside seem from afar with one thing, and when approaching, they either turn out to be something completely different, or disappear altogether. This is the borderline stage: the eyes are still open, but the brain does not have time to process all incoming information – it is already asleep! Another couple of minutes, and consciousness completely off.
3. Vision does not have time to focus
I try to look from the road to the instruments, and then return it back to the road. What was the mileage there? Once more: a moment to the instruments, and again to the road. In a normal state, vision can reconstruct itself, and everything is perfectly visible. But if you fall asleep, your eyes become glassy, your eyes do not have time to adapt to the conditions, it becomes impossible to look at the devices with one quick glance, and immediately take the necessary indications.
4. Laziness to strain the brain
Try to multiply 18 by 3. In the normal state this is not a problem. But a sleeping person is not something that would be difficult … he does not need this nafig. Vpalu even begin. For the same reason, too lazy to talk. Because for this you need to strain, keep in mind the thread of conversation, pick up words.
By the way, any verbal communication loads the brain well, therefore in the first place: whoever babbles – he will not fall asleep; And secondly: if the cabin is silent, then soon everyone will be cut down. At this point, too, it’s time to stop, although it seems that you can still go. That’s the guys and it happened (on the registrar): first there was a silence in the cabin, and after a while – an accident. By the way, most of all, it’s not just empty chatter that invigorates, but conversations on some exciting topics, whether it’s sex, politics or some kind of holivar. So we stock up on the path of sick subjects.
5. Minor violations
I forgot to switch to the neighbor two or three times in a row? It’s time to sleep. Can not remember the last road sign? And the penultimate? No? Sleep! Stopped at the flashing yellow? To green? Well, you understand …
And the bonus is an express test for the passenger, how unobtrusively to check the driver for drowsiness
The chip is that it’s useless to ask: “Hey, are you okay?”. The answer will always be the same: “OK”. Instead, you have to ask some questions that require reflection, or mindfulness. For example: “Where are we now? What kind of village passed? “, Or” How much do we have left before …? “, Or even something more complicated, like:” What do you think it’s best to give <имя общего друга> for a birthday? “. And if the answers seem too simple, or inadequate – it’s time to change. And if the patient is more likely to live, then to become better, it is advisable to start with him about something to argue. Though about high matters, though it’s dumb to troll him – do not care. The main thing is that during the heated debates, it is impossible to fall asleep physically, it is checked.
In general, the main rule: the brain does not turn off immediately, it turns off gradually. As a hanging computer, first it works 100%, then 50%, then 25% and then the bang – it’s already hanging. It is possible to catch this transition from 100% to 50%, if you know what to look for and how to check. And you need to look for any laziness and check yourself for the inhibition of consciousness.
Still, the question remains: if I can control myself, is this enough to safely drive long distances alone? Honestly, I’m not sure. The catch is that along with the dullness of consciousness, dulls the sense of fear. That is, you understand that you fall asleep, by all the criteria of a sensible person, you are already, in fact, a hair’s breadth from death, and you realize this, but at this moment you are not scared at all! Because the brain is almost asleep. And it seems: “You’ll think, I’ll drive another XX km to the nearest XXX, and then I’ll have a nap / swap.” So all these signs, of course, are good, especially when you are traveling alone. And we must try not to bring them up, and if at least one of them comes – immediately stop. But this is more necessary than a sufficient condition for security.
The only option, in which I’m 100% sure, is riding with a partner and constant conversations. Not so much to stay awake as much as to constantly monitor each other (see point 4): the conversation has died down – both sleep. Yes, this is a very tough rule. But, for example, when we went on a round-the-world tour, there were four of us, and we easily adhered to it. Recently, I began to score more and more often on him, sometimes because of the lack of interlocutors, and sometimes just like that. But, apparently, in vain. Life, damn, can show how not to do. It’s foolish not to learn.