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Driving while Drowsy legislation.....


I agree, but reality being what it is....when you rotate shifts, how else can you get home? I've pulled over many a time to nap but it can be difficult to do with climate control out of the picture (you're stilll legally in control of your car with the keys in the ignition even if it's just to run the heat/A/C) and it's unsafe to sleep in your car by a busy highway anyway. I can remember several times I've hallucinated on the way home after a night shift. But employers are going to have to provide some sort of assistance in finding the solution as well.

I don't know about the rest of you, but if I worked a night shift, had the next night off to pull a day shift the following day, I was up for nearly 40 hrs just so I could sleep the night before the day shift. And how about those who are on call and on their feet for 72 hrs? How do they get home? Paramedics on 24-48 hr shifts...if their shifts are busy and they don't get any sleep, what about that?

See what I mean? The changes necessary to comply with these laws could be radical!

mother/babyRN, RN

Specializes in cardiac, diabetes, OB/GYN. Has 27 years experience.

I think unless people are to be prosecuted for rude gestures, driving while not paying attention or on the phone, yelling at their kids, etc, this is unfairly slated against night workers..How in the world do they expect us to get home? Perhaps myself and some night time police officer (the ones who speed illegally past you at 100 miles an hour after their shift is done) can divvy up and pay for a hotel suite for all us tired night shift workers..Bet a million dollars no night time police officer driving drowsy will EVER get in trouble...I have nothing against police officers, but have seen how they get away with just about everything because of who they are......Seems unfairly slanted toward night shift medical personnel, in my opinion, who don't TRY to drive drowsy.....

But do you get the same idea from this part of the article that I do?:

"Enforcing Drowsy Driving Laws

"There are no roadside breath tests for fatigue, and the signs are difficult to spot -- especially in a post-crash environment that raises alertness," says Donaldson.

But that doesn't mean that drowsy driving doesn't leave a trail of evidence that might be brought up in court, says Darrel Drobnich, senior director of government and transportation affairs at the National Sleep Foundation.

Drobnich says there are certain characteristics that investigators can look for that might signal that drowsy driving contributed to an accident, such as:

Lack of skid marks

Lane weaving

Time of day: These accidents peak during the late night and midafternoon hours.

Age and sex of driver: Most sleep-related accidents involve people under 26 and men.

Work schedule: Shift workers and people who work more than 60 hours a week are much more likely to be drowsy drivers."

!!!! That last part. does that mean that if I get in a wreck and they find out I work as much as I do that they will automatically ASSUME that I was drowsy and CHARGE me?

Things that make ya go, Hmmm.....

I can see it now...people will start to call in "sleepy" instead of calling in sick...lol


Tweety, BSN, RN

Specializes in Med-Surg, Trauma, Ortho, Neuro, Cardiac. Has 28 years experience.

I don't think night shift workers have the market cornered on being tired.

Babs, who is on call and on their feet for 72 hours??? That's horrid!

But yes, some professions would definately be affected. Expecting someone to work a 48 hour or 72 hour shift is dangerous. The medical profession is chaning how they treat their med residents, other professions should take note.

I know of several endo and OR nurses who are in that situation, as well as acute dialysis nurses. Not to mention MD residents, paramedics, etc.

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