A Private First Class assigned to the Indiana Army National Guard, Crawfordsville, Indiana, was on Title 32 502(f) orders in support of COVID vaccinations, when he died in a PMV-4 mishap 16 January 2021 in Bloomington, Indiana, at 2300 local. The Soldier was operating his vehicle en route to his hotel when he collided with another vehicle. The Soldier was transported to the local hospital and pronounced dead upon arrival by the attending physician. The specific circumstances of the mishap, including speed, the Soldier’s use of a seat belt and alcohol use, as contributing factors are unknown at this time. The mishap is under investigation.
Since 2016, the Army has lost an average of 34 Soldiers a year to PMV-4 mishaps. This mishap is the 14th PMV-4 fatality of FY21 and above the number of fatalities for the same time period last year.
1. Occur most frequently between midnight and 6 a.m., or in the late afternoon. At both times of the day, people experience dips in their circadian rhythm — the human body’s internal clock that regulates sleep;
2. Often involve only a single driver (and no passengers) running off the road at a high rate of speed with no evidence of braking; and
3. Frequently occur on rural roads and highways.
Tips on How to Avoid Driving Drowsy
1. Getting adequate sleep on a daily basis is the only true way to protect yourself against the risks of driving when you’re drowsy. Experts urge consumers to make it a priority to get seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
2. Before the start of a long family car trip, get adequate sleep or you could put your entire family and others at risk.
3. Many teens do not get enough sleep at a stage in life when their biological need for sleep increases, which makes them vulnerable to the risk of drowsy-driving crashes, especially on longer trips. Advise your teens to delay driving until they’re well-rested.
4. Avoid drinking any alcohol before driving. Consumption of alcohol interacts with sleepiness to increase drowsiness and impairment.
5. Always check your prescription and over-the-counter medication labels to see if drowsiness could result from their use.
6. If you take medications that could cause drowsiness as a side effect, use public transportation when possible.
7. If you drive, avoid driving during the peak sleepiness periods (midnight to 6 a.m. and late afternoon). If you must drive during the peak sleepiness periods, stay vigilant for signs of drowsiness, such as crossing over roadway lines or hitting a rumble strip, especially if you’re driving alone.
1. Drinking coffee or energy drinks alone is not always enough. They might help you feel more alert, but the effects last only a short time, and you might not be as alert as you think you are. If you drink coffee and are seriously sleep-deprived, you still may have “micro sleeps” or brief losses of consciousness that can last for four or five seconds. This means that at 55 miles per hour, you’ve traveled more than 100 yards down the road while asleep. That’s plenty of time to cause a crash.
2. If you start to get sleepy while you’re driving, drink one to two cups of coffee and pull over for a short 20-minute nap in a safe place, such as a lighted, designated rest stop. This has been shown to increase alertness in scientific studies, but only for short time periods.
Common Circadian Rhythm Disorders
Shift work sleep disorder: This sleep disorder affects people who frequently rotate shifts or work at night. A conflict between someone's circadian rhythm and the time of their shift can mean they get up to four hours less sleep than the average person.
Delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS): This is a disorder of sleep timing. People with DSPS tend to fall asleep very late at night and have a hard time waking up in time for work, school, or social activities. It's especially common in teens and young adults.
Advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS): This is a disorder in which a person goes to sleep earlier and wakes earlier than they wanted. For example, they might fall asleep between 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. and wake up between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.
Non-24-hour sleep-wake disorder: This disorder often affects people who are blind because the circadian clock is set by the light-dark cycle. With this condition, that cycle is disturbed. It can cause a serious lack of sleep time and quality at night and sleepiness during daylight hours.
Irregular sleep-wake rhythm disorder: With this disorder, people's circadian rhythms are jumbled. They may sleep in a series of naps over 24 hours.