Drowsy Driving | VideoSarahbeth Ackerman | 1/4/2013
"You got other people in that vehicle that could drive. Don`t take it as, you know, youíre less of a man if you admit that you`re tired and you can`t drive," said Minot resident, Tony Hall.
The study found that it was more common for men to doze off on the roads. Falling asleep at the wheel can be similar to driving under the influence. They have some of the same characteristics, such as veering off the road, going through a red light or causing an accident. If you are traveling far for work, working more than 16 hours of manual labor gives you the same reaction time as someone who is legally drunk.
This is something all too familiar for Hall. "Iíve been one of those drivers that has dozed off after a 12 hour shift. Yeah know, driving back after you get off of work at 6:00in the morning. Yeah, I`ve experienced that. Actually, two years ago, we had three other employees in the vehicles we were all driving. In the suburban, the driver dozed off. I was in the front seat. I was sleeping on the way back. And we hit the rear end of a pickup that was being pulled by a grater. So yeah, I`ve experienced that first hand."
Like many other commuters, after a 12 hour day Hall drives over 50 to 60 miles to get back home. "Companies need to realize that when youíre pushing people to the max, like we are within the oil boom that we`re involved in right now, they need to be leery that theyíre working their employees and that turns into a safety issue."
"It comes down to basically recognizing when you are at that point. And all of us have a preset level where we`re tired, that when they start feeling tired that when they need to take action to really do something to try and wake themselves up," said Captain Gary Orluck, North Dakota Highway Patrol.
Luckily, Hall and his employees were not injured during the accident and were wearing their seat belts.
Many companies are now hiring drivers to shuttle their employees so they don`t have to drive after their long shifts.