I love driving! I really do. I don’t ever really mind when my husband asks me to drive him somewhere, or to pick him up. Except when he falls asleep and leaves me to battle my own sleepiness while stuck in EDSA traffic. I’ll do the driving, but he’s gotta do the entertaining, you know what I mean? 🙂

I would love to take roadtrips more often. Straight boring highways make me sleepy, but winding roads, going up and around mountains, or navigating inner city new-to-me roads – those keep me wide awake. Hmm. Yes, let’s take more roadtrips.

Over a year ago, in January, I had an accident. I was on my way to work, and at past 11 in the evening, it would have been just a 10 to 15-minute drive. One minute I was changing radio stations, just about 50 meters before I turn left at a cross-roads. The next, well, I heard the sound of what seemed to me like crushing metal.

I had made that last crossroads safely, but have no memory of it. I was about a hundred meters away now, at another crossroads – apparently an accident-prone one. I had no idea that I had fallen asleep. It was scary. I crashed into the drivers’ side of the other car so my first thought was to open my window and ask if he was okay. Which thankfully, he was.

One might say that this accident was my crossroads. It had driven the point that I needed to seek help for all that uncontrollable sleepiness. I wasn’t going to wait for another accident that might cost lives, or limbs.

Since then, I’ve had my sleep apnea officially diagnosed, and I’ve been sleeping with a CPAP machine (well, maybe not all the time, but as much as possible). Whenever we have to drive, we also make it a point that I get some rest. Or, that if I get really sleepy, we look for a safe space and park for a quick nap. When driving alone, I munch on nuts or chocolate when I have to. Lately, I feel like things have been better.

Driving is such a big responsibility. Your life, your passengers’ lives, as well as the lives of pedestrians and other motorists are in your hands. That’s been on my mind lately.

I wonder if every driver thinks of it this way?