“If you feel tired when driving pull over” so says the advice to motorists. I’d like to add the following advice.
If you do pull over for a sleep nobody will ever think you have pulled over for a sleep; they will think you are either dead or dying. They will then ring 999 to report that someone is dead or dying at the side of the road. This will result in an immediate response where me and my colleagues tear-arse from one end of town to the other (longer on motorways) in an effort to be first on the scene in order to try and get some kind of commendation for reviving a dead or dying motorist before the ambulance (which is also tear-arsing from one end of the county to the other as there are never any free in the town where the incident is, although their definition of ‘tear-arsing’ will be 40-60mph less than ours).
Helpful passers-by never describe someone as ‘sleeping’, ‘nodding-off’ or ‘having a kip’. They are always ‘slumped at the wheel’. or ‘unconscious’.
Here is some information for would-be 999 callers; motorists are not like elephants, at the end of their lives they don’t make their way to the jungle equivalent of the hard-shoulder in order to die. There are only three types of people who die in their cars (not including those involved in RTCs/RTAs*).
- People who have heart attacks at the wheel – characterised by their sudden random direction as they point their vehicle anywhere not on the carriageway, they are quite pale when they eventually stop and don’t move much.
- People who commit suicide – characterised by a garden hose or vacuum pipe leading from the exhaust to the rear window of the car. They are quite pink and usually lying down, not slumped at the wheel. And they aren’t usually doing this on the side of major roads as people tend to interrupt them too often.
- People engaged in dogging who suddenly realise the audience includes their wife/husband, characterised by having a heart attach whilst trying to pull up the trousers.
To sum up, if you want to sleep in your car, fine, don’t do it on the hard shoulder of a motorway and leave a large newspaper up so people think you are reading and not dead. If you are thinking about reporting someone dying in a car, unless they are in lane three of the motorway, they probably aren’t dying and we probably don’t need to know.
* RTC – Road Traffic Collision / RTA – Road Traffic Accident