In May 2016, a semi-truck veered off the road in Wyoming, tipping onto its side and releasing its cargo: millions of bees.

Bees. Fun in a hive. Bad on a drive. Rouf Bhat/AFP/Getty Images.


A few days later, a similar accident happened in North Carolina, spilling 50,000 pounds of potatoes.

Potatoes. Fun in a stew. Bad on a ... uh ... let me get back to you on this one. Photo from iStock.

In both cases, the crashes happened because the drivers fell asleep at the wheel.

Photo from iStock.

Truck drivers are often under ridiculous pressure to deliver their goods as fast as possible, which can result in people pushing their bodies and chances further than they really should.

It's not just truckers who are sleep deprived, though. The CDC says that 1 in 25 adult drivers have admitted to nodding off at the wheel in the last month.

And That number is based on people who were actually willing to admit to such a thing in a survey — in reality, the number may be higher.

Photo from iStock.

Sleep deprivation is a serious problem. A third of all American adults don't get enough sleep, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says drowsy driving is responsible for about 83,000 crashes, 37,000 injury crashes, and 886 fatal crashes per year on average.

The human body needs sleep. In fact, staying awake for 24 hours straight has the same effect on the body as being drunk.

A study in the 1990s suggested that being awake for 24 hours straight was the equivalent of having a blood alcohol level of 0.10%. That's equivalent to about three to four drinks and well above the legal limit to drive.

Photo from Maya83/Flickr.

In extreme cases, your body will force you to sleep whether you want to or not.

The scariest part? You might not even notice.

Photo from Jim Schwoebel/Wikimedia Commons.

If you become seriously sleep-deprived, your body can override your will to stay awake and will start snatching sleep anywhere it can get it. These episodes, known as microsleep, can last from a few seconds to two minutes and can happen without you even realizing it.

If this happens at your desk, that's bad. If it happens when you're behind the wheel of a car, it can be a catastrophe.

At the end of the day (literally), the best thing is being proactive about getting a good night's sleep.

You may have heard some of these before, but practicing good sleep hygiene often does work.

Especially if you know you have a long car ride coming up, doing things like avoiding caffeine, alcohol, food, and computer or TV screens right before bed; setting a sleep schedule; and getting some exercise can actually save you a lot of exhaustion once you hit the road.

Too much screen usage before bed can disrupt sleep. Photo from iStock.

If you've got time to plan ahead, it's also a good idea to bring a friend along for the ride and take turns napping in the passenger seat.

Photo from iStock.

You can’t always predict why you’ll be on the road for hours at a time, but by respecting how dangerous driving drowsy can be and taking steps to avoid it, we can all stay a bit safer on the road.

If all else fails, just remember that a hotel stay is probably a lot cheaper than a hospital bill.

This article originally appeared on November 11, 2015


Remember those beloved Richard Scarry books from when you were a kid?

Like a lot of people, I grew up reading them. And now, I read them to my kids.

The best!

If that doesn't ring a bell, perhaps this character from the "Busytown" series will. Classic!

Image via

Scarry was an incredibly prolific children's author and illustrator. He created over 250 books during his career. His books were loved across the world — over 100 million were sold in many languages.

But here's something you may not have known about these classics: They've been slowly changing over the years.

Don't panic! They've been changing in a good way.

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Photo by Maxim Hopman on Unsplash

The Sam Vimes "Boots" Theory of Socioeconomic Unfairness explains one way the rich get richer.

Any time conversations about wealth and poverty come up, people inevitably start talking about boots.

The standard phrase that comes up is "pull yourself up by your bootstraps," which is usually shorthand for "work harder and don't ask for or expect help." (The fact that the phrase was originally used sarcastically because pulling oneself up by one's bootstraps is literally, physically impossible is rarely acknowledged, but c'est la vie.) The idea that people who build wealth do so because they individually work harder than poor people is baked into the American consciousness and wrapped up in the ideal of the American dream.

A different take on boots and building wealth, however, paints a more accurate picture of what it takes to get out of poverty.

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"Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" (1937) and actor Peter Dinklage.

On Tuesday, Upworthy reported that actor Peter Dinklage was unhappy with Disney’s decision to move forward with a live-action version of “Snow White and the Seven Drawfs” starring Rachel Zegler.

Dinklage praised Disney’s inclusive casting of the “West Side Story” actress, whose mother is of Colombian descent, but pointed out that, at the same time, the company was making a film that promotes damaging stereotypes about people with dwarfism.

"There's a lot of hypocrisy going on, I've gotta say, from being somebody who's a little bit unique," Dinklage told Marc Maron on his “WTF” podcast.

"Well, you know, it's really progressive to cast a—literally no offense to anybody, but I was a little taken aback by, they were very proud to cast a Latino actress as Snow White," Dinklage said, "but you're still telling the story of 'Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.' Take a step back and look at what you're doing there.”

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