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Micro-sleeps, real or imaginary ?


Boydie
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Some of you may have noticed that I've been absent for a while.

Old joke :: I'd like to die like my grandfather, peacefully in his sleep, not screaming like the other passengers in his car !

I was driving in Julies Skoda Fabia VRS to get my morning coffee and paper, Saturday 13/2/2016 at 7.43am when a young male nurse in a Toyota Corolla swerved over the concrete divider in the road and drove into me head on at around 80 kph. Now, just before the impact I had slowed down for some traffic lights, and accelerated back up to around 75 kph so our impact/terminal speed was around 155 kph or, if you like a closing speed of about 400 meters in a second, it doesn't leave much room for evasion.

He had just come off an 18 hour double shift at the local hospital and was driving home, he fell asleep at the wheel moments after stopping for a red light.

The impact was such that his car pushed mine back past my braking marks, he never touched his brake, asleep his foot was pressed down on the accelerator and as a result he had to have his lower leg amputated as the bones in his right foot were crushed beyond any remedial surgery. The result of this is, for him a loss of his career, he can no longer work as a nurse with a prosthetic right foot.

My injuries, 17 broken ribs, only 3 had no breaks, the rest had one or multiple fractures, My sternum was split in three places. A single green stick fracture to my right arm, 3 bones in my left foot and two in my right foot cracked, both knees had compression damage. One tooth missing (just before the impact I had presence of mind to let go of the steering wheel and cross my arms, the steering wheel air bag caused my wrist watch to smack me in the mouth and break it off at the gum).

Lumber 5 vertebrae was crushed to 60% of its normal size, this entailed a spinal operation to fuse L3; L4; L5 & S together with 8 screws and 2 titanium rods. The spinal discs were removed and replaced with cement - so, as a result I've grown 1.5mm - there has be be some benefits I guess !

My prognosis is good, I'm now back home after 35 days in hospital and I'm walking and undergoing physio. In about 3 months I'll be able to drive again and in six months I should be back to normal, with a total fully recovery period of 18 months.

The moral of my tale, if you feel just a tiny bit weary, pull over and have a power nap, dont risk having a micro sleep, you may just never wake up.

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Ouch! Really, very nasty, and really surprising that in a modern car you suffered so much :(

Have fractured ribs before (well some doichebags decided it would be fun to use me as a kicking sack), and know how painful that is, so can only imagine the pain you have been in.

Speedy recovery Ian, and thanks for the warning/reminder.

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:o Bloody ell, Iain...!!! I wish you all the best with your recovery! patience is a virtue during the "repair" period... get planning a project and use the time well ;) got any fruity X-rays showing your new wolverine ironmongery?

Keep well.

Mav

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First off Ian I'm glad your ok, the other driver has life changing injuries but again.. thankfully still here to tell the tale.

I've been on the other side of this, as a youth I ended up over training, over working and under sleeping.. wrote off my Saab 99 turbo and 55 yards of motorway barrier - said barrier took the passenger seat out through the back window. Thankfully and luckily no one was hurt and I walked away from it without a scratch.

It taught me an important lesson for life, driving tired is the last thing you should ever do and may well be the last thing you do.

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I wish you a speedy recovery.

It is an unfortunate aspect of road use that an erroneous driver puts others at risk, not just themselves. Drink/drug driving is on the increase again, people driving while unfit to do so, people driving unsafe vehicles, aggressive driving, use of mobile phones and other distractions, speeding - they all kill. I wouldn't care if it was only themselves they harmed, but they ruin others' lives day in, day out. That is why I think the law should be extremely harsh on them.

By the way, 175kmh impact equates to 49m/s, not 400 - that's mach 1.3!

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very sobering story

I regularly work and drive long hrs, mon was 24hrs, the longest I've done in one hit was 4 12hr shifts one after the other and I drove home afterwards.... I drive/operate for a living and I'm overly consous of any mistakes I make, little things like hitting a pothole I ment to miss, drifting too close to the white lines, brake late in a corner etc.... I feel fatigue and notice any thing off I pull over and power nap

Last weekend on the way home at 4am I passed a car... afterwoods I noticed something odd in my rear view.... the guy I had passed had drifted across the passing lane into the oncoming lane and stayed there for about half a km.... I started flashing my lights at oncoming traffic and called the cops, thankfully there was only a couple of oncoming cars

An hr later I pulled over for a power nap because I forgot to put the engine brakes on at the start of a big down hill... I was less than half an hr from home

My thoughts will be of you, lol its some thing I'll remember at 2am when I'm driving

Wish I was closer so I could offer some help I know what back injurys are about, good luck mate

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Thanks to yo all for your good wishes, as the late great Dave Allen said, "if only the good die young then I'm here for a bloody ling time yet" and his other classic was "may you pass through the pearly gates an hour before the devil knows you're dead"

Prognosis is I've got at least six months of physio - hydro and land exercise ahead of me before I can walk properly again and without discomfort and 18 months before I do things subconsciously - for example the hardest thing for me to do at the moment is putting on my socks, my spine being so restricted my bending motion is severely hampered, in time my new found method to overcome this will be just second nature. Julie and I have had to put off any thoughts of trips out into the deserts for this year, until I'm confident that I can dig the Disco out of a deep sand dune its simply not possible.

Again thanks for you wishes and STAY AWAKE at the wheel, please !

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I knew a guy who had a similar amount of stainless in his back from heaving a 44 that shifted on him, and he was fit to do the same sort of silly lifting much later on when I met him, so hopefully your back will heal up well, too.

You have my sympathies! The stupid hours some industries work just aren't reasonable when people get into this sort of trouble.

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That's terrible. I hope your recovery goes trouble-free. A workmate died in a similar situation (though they thought, in that case, that the driver had suffered a heart attack).

I'm very prone to getting drowsy at the wheel. So much so that I carry a bottle of Mountain Dew (full of caffeine and sugar) and a jar of nuts in the car. Sipping and chewing usually work well to keep me awake but, if they don't, I'm quite used to pulling over for a quick nap!

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Sounds like you could be the first 'test subject' (Read: Victim) of my Powered X-O-Skeleton project!

I had to suspend work on it for a while because my 'assisted' leg went a bit wild and almost dislocated my knee! - but I'm sure it will only take a few tweaks!

I know how unpleasant most of your injuries are - though I've never had them all at the same time! The important thing is you're still breathing and in time will recover.

I'm glad you're still with us!

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Sounds like you could be the first 'test subject' (Read: Victim) of my Powered X-O-Skeleton project!

I had to suspend work on it for a while because my 'assisted' leg went a bit wild and almost dislocated my knee! - but I'm sure it will only take a few tweaks!

I know how unpleasant most of your injuries are - though I've never had them all at the same time! The important thing is you're still breathing and in time will recover.

I'm glad you're still with us!

Anyone else and I'd be sure that was an April fools day joke ..... ;)

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Si , who hasn't wanted a loader from the Aliens movie? Put me down for 2 :popcorn-and-drink-smiley-emotic:D

Boydie , your lucky streak is still strong by the sound of it , a sobering tale indeed . I hope the healing goes well for you , it does sound like your itinerary is planned out for the near future

cheers

Steveb

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