Information Overload Causes Accidents

Just wondering, did sleep deprivation contribute to Seattle crash?

The famous Ride The Ducks vehicle crashed into a bus carrying 58 foreign exchange students. Here’s a picture courtesy of Channel 7 in Seattle:

photo courtesy KIRO-7 News

Ride the Ducks Bus crashes into bus on bridge

I watched along with others as pictures of the crash on the bridge in Seattle took over the news. My heart goes out to the families of everyone involved, especially those parents so far away who trustingly sent their children to an exchange program, only to lose them.

So today isn’t a light and airy saying. It’s a reminder to BACK AWAY FROM THE ELECTRONICS once in awhile. I don’t have all the data or facts yet from the NTSB. That investigation will take weeks. But I do know that being wired all the time is making all of us very tired. Our reaction times are just not what they used to be if our systems are deprived of much needed sleep.

We aren’t sleeping as well as we used to. People often complain about fatigue and numerous police reports indicate that sleep deprivation causes 20% of traffic incidents. It’s no wonder: if you are exposing your brain to intense light and activity just minutes before bed, you’ve activated adrenaline and squashed melatonin receptors. Your brain thinks it really IS in danger from those little piggies or monsters or whatever video game you’re playing. Or it’s still replaying all the bad news that fits on your TV screen or computer. The bright lights and action is changing your biological clock.

Not only that, and this is vitally important: your brain has activated its learning processes. Your repetitive activity in those games is creating new synapses and connections within your brain. You are creating a new brain pattern!

So what do you do? Make an effort to turn off the electronics periodically. Leave your cellphone behind and go for a walk on the beach. Go play a game of touch football with your kids this weekend. Go sledding when the snow falls. Decide to not open your computer until noon one day. Take an entire weekend away from all electronic communications. Most of all, let there be a little time between electronics and bedtime. Sit and talk with family. Take your dog for a walk. Sit outside and look at the night sky.

It’s not just texting and driving that’s causing accidents. Get enough sleep and give yourself — and the others on the road with you — a fighting chance. I’m on that road, too. I’d like to stay in this side of the ground for a few more decades.

Thanks for listening!

Beth Terry

© 2015 Beth Terry • All Rights Reserved


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