A different focus

Dear sir:
I read with great interest the letter from Bob Cottam in last week’s Times.
Mr. Cottam, this letter is not directed to you in particular, but more as a matter of public interest. In your letter, when the officer spoke to you, you focused on the “drinking.” I will focus on the “drunk fashion.”
There are many reasons why a person may weave their vehicle in a drunk fashion. One reason is fatigue. Fatigue near-misses occur during routine, everyday trips, and usually when a person is driving for less than two hours.
A person staying awake for 17 hours will behave as if they have had 63 percent of the legal drinking limit. Many people nod off and jerk awake without ever realizing they were asleep.
These four- or five-second lapses are referred to as micro sleeps. Within these micro sleeps, a vehicle can travel more than 300 feet.
The sleepy times are between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m., and 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. for a normal waking person. Signs of fatigue are lack of concentration, inconsistent travel speeds, boredom and yawns, overlooking road signs, or veering.
There also are numerous medical reasons why a person may weave their vehicle. These include low blood sugar and high blood sugar (notice the letter headlined ‘Very grateful’ last week, which noted “[his] sugar was so low he had no idea about anything.”)
“Revive to Arrive Alive.” Eating fresh fruit, a protein, and drinking water, natural fruit juices, or milk will provide energy and hydration, but also will force a person to take lavatory breaks.
At a rest stop, be sure to stretch and walk around.
Mr. Cottam, I know you enjoy a drive, but you are 82 years old. Please continue to drive, it’s good to see you on the road. I drive often and have seen you weave twice.
Perhaps it is a bit too much to shop and then go right back to Emo. Maybe, have lunch and a nap before the drive back, and try not to drive in the afternoon (the sleepy time).
The person who phoned the police was likely concerned about the dangerous driving condition, not about whether you drink or not. I am surprised the officer seems to have focused on drinking, as well.
I don’t know who phoned, but you and the officer should thank that person—they may have been trying to save your life.
Please don’t feel hurt or offended. They owe you no apology.
Enjoy driving,
Lorraine Cupp
Blackhawk, Ont.

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