Why won’t my phone unlock? I know I’m not fat-figuring the password. Oh . . . I’m using my iPad code.
It’s been a long couple of weeks. Family visiting from out of town, a birthday party with squealing little girls in my house, a class from my day job that had homework. I’m exhausted.
We’ve all seen the reports about fatigue having the same effects as being drunk. Fatigue and alcohol both slow our ability to process and lead to poor decision making.
“I’m just a little tired.” Entering the wrong passcode to unlock my phone wasted a few seconds and made me feel like an idiot. Altimeters and navigation equipment don’t stop you when you enter the wrong thing. While fatigue was not a factor, the Flight management system did not tell the crew of American Airlines Flight 965 the wrong non-directional beacon was entered into the Flight Management System and the error cost 159 lives.
“It’s only a little bit longer.” That’s what I said to myself as I drove down the interstate at 70 mph. There were less than 15 minutes left in my shift as my wife and I were driving across the country. A few minutes later, I bumped a flatbed trailer and ran our little car off the road into a nice open median. It was 9 o’clock in the morning. While fatigue related accidents often happen in the wee hours of the morning, this was a matter of poor rest management, plain and simple. Imagine if I had been flying a plane. What with a result of been then?
One of the worst things about fatigue, like alcohol, is it lures you in. This is not news. In 2008 Robert Sumwalt, then vice chairman of the NTSB, gave a presentation on fatigue, which by then had been on the NTSB Most Wanted list for 18 years.
How do you ensure you have the proper rest before you fly? What are your personal indicators of fatigue?
Image can be found at freakingnews.com