Good drivers result in relaxed passengers

safe driving sleep

MY wife Renata reckons I’m a pretty poor conversationalist when I’m driving. Sure, like many blokes, I find it hard to do more than one thing at a time. And when I’m behind the wheel of my 4x4 I try to put as much focus, effort and attention in to my driving as I possibly can.

When we’re in the car together it’s usually on weekends, and our route usually involves at least some freeway driving. After all, we live in the Illawarra, south of Sydney, so weekend drives often see us heading north to the big smoke along the F6 (as it used to be called) or getting the hell out of Dodge, usually south along the Hume Freeway (or Motorway… or whatever it’s now called).

Despite their big, wide lanes and shoulders I always find freeway driving more taxing than any other type of driving. I reckon high speeds combined with lots of other vehicles driven by people of varying skills, experience and attitudes is always a cause for concern. So I focus on my driving… a lot! Which means I find it hard to also talk about, well, pretty much anything (other than grumbling about the poor driving exhibited by those around me).

safe sleeping in car
As a result of my non-talking, Renata often takes the opportunity to have a nap in the passenger seat. I find it almost impossible to fall asleep in the passenger seat of a car no matter who’s driving it, unless I’m very, very drunk. I always assume that if I close my eyes, the driver cannot be trusted to safely stay on the road. It therefore stands to reason that because Renata can so easily fall asleep while I’m driving I must be an exceptionally trustworthy and fantastic driver.

Driver fatigue: Don't ignore the danger signs

Over the past 12 months or so I have been putting this theory to the test. Sure, my research methods might be a bit less than scientific, but so far the results have been astounding, and they prove that without a doubt I’m one of the most trustworthy and safe drivers of all time.

Check out the accompanying photos of some of my passengers, secure in the knowledge that they can safely take a kip while I guide them gently to their destinations. I might also point out that these photos were taken both on the road and off it, and that, as a matter of fact, the bumpier the conditions the more sleeping was exhibited by the test subjects.

Are the fun police ruining driving pleasure?

These test subjects are not just ‘ordinary’ people; they are all ‘professional’ four-wheel drivers who should know better than to fall asleep in the passenger seat of a moving 4WD, further proving what a fabulous driver I must be. They include Offroad Images’ videographer Adam ‘Noddy’ Bennett, Land Rover Monthly Dep Ed Patrick Cruywagen, FB Life Publisher Wang Qing and Red Desert Tours and Catering’s Anthony ‘Macca’ McDonald. These blokes are true professionals in their respective 4WD fields and they would surely not fall asleep in the passenger seat of a vehicle unless they trusted their driver 100 per cent.

Either that or I really am a total bore.

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