+

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.

via Chewy

Adorable Dexter and his new chew toy. Thanks Chewy Claus.

True

Every holiday season, millions of kids send letters asking for everything from a new bike to a pony. Some even make altruistic requests such as peace on Earth or helping struggling families around the holidays.

But wouldn’t the holiday season be even more magical if our pets had their wishes granted, too? That’s why Chewy Claus is stepping up to spread holiday cheer to America’s pets.

Does your dog dream of a month’s supply of treats or chew toys? Would your cat love a new tree complete with a stylish condo? How about giving your betta fish some fresh decor that’ll really tie its tank together?

Or do your pets need something more than mere creature comforts such as life-saving surgery?

Keep ReadingShow less
Photo by Jeremy Wong on Unsplash

Teen raises $186,000 to help Walmart worker retire.

In America, many people have to work well past the age of retirement to make ends meet. While some of these people choose to work past retirement age because it keeps them active, some older people, like Nola Carpenter, 81, work out of necessity.

Carpenter has been working at Walmart for 20 years, way beyond most people's retirement age just so that she can afford to continue to pay her mortgage. When 19-year-old Devan Bonagura saw the woman looking tired in the break room of the store, he posted a video to his TikTok of Carpenter with a text overlay that said, "Life shouldn't b this hard..." complete with a sad face emoji.

In the video, Carpenter is sitting at a small table looking down and appearing to be exhausted. The caption of the video reads ":/ I feel bad." Turns out, a lot of other people did too, and encouraged the teen to start a GoFundMe, which has since completed.

Keep ReadingShow less

Philadelphia is taking the city back to the past.

Remember when calling your parents, a tow truck or a friend when you were out and about meant digging in your pocket for a quarter to make a pay phone call? Well, a Philadelphia-based collective, PhilTel, is jumping into the past with a modern twist, by installing free-to-use pay phones throughout the city.

Of course, the pay phones that many of us grew up were removed from public places years ago. There no longer seemed to be a need for them when most people had a phone in their pocket or in their hand. But it's easy to forget that not everyone has or wants that luxury. For some people, staying that connected all the time can be too much and for others, it's simply financially impossible to own a cell phone.

Keep ReadingShow less

This article originally appeared on 07.22.21


As if a Canada goose named Arnold isn't endearing enough, his partner who came looking for him when he was injured is warming hearts and having us root for this sweet feathered couple.

Cape Wildlife Center in Barnstable, Massachusetts shared the story on its Facebook page, in what they called "a first" for their animal hospital.


Keep ReadingShow less
popular

Think all cats are the same? These pictures prove they each have their own personality

Photographer Nils Jacobi shows how cats aren't nearly as aloof as one might think.

All images used with Nils Jacobi's permission. @furryfritz/Instagram

Catographer purrfectly captures cats' purrsonalities.

People often mistakingly attribute a singular personality to cats—usually the words "aloof" or "snobby" are used to describe them. At best, they might be given the "evil genius" label. But in actuality, no two cats are alike. Each has their own distinct ways of being, whether that’s silly, sophisticated, affectionate, downright diabolical or somewhere in between.

This photographer has the pictures to prove it.

Nils Jacobi, better known online as furryfritz, the catographer, has photographed literally thousands upon thousands of cats—from Maine coons who look like they should be in a perfume ad to tabbies in full-on derp mode.
Keep ReadingShow less