Jane died on April 1, 2001, almost 13 years ago. The world has moved on, like it does, even though we loved her and miss her. If you knew Jane, you remember what a special person she was. If you didn’t know Jane, you can only take our word for it. But you don’t need to have known her personally to understand how devastating it is to lose someone suddenly and forever. Learning from the mistakes and experiences of ourselves and others can help us make better choices. Live to Run Again was founded to try to make something good come out of a preventable tragedy. Jane was a victim of drowsy driving. We celebrate her life, we mourn her loss, and we remember how she died so others can avoid the same fate.
Live to Run Again is a tribute to Jane, and she will never be separated from its identity. Her Sheltie is on our logo. Her pink sun hat inspired our colors. Her friendship touched many lives. She was on her way home from a dog show, riding in a vehicle full of crated dogs, like many of us do almost every weekend. “Live to Run Again” refers to “the next agility run.” On a larger scale, Jane’s death becomes a life lesson for all of us not to take sleep or safety for granted.
Our public education campaign reaches out to those who are in a similar risk group but reminds everyone to learn about the risks of drowsy driving and share the information with those you care about. The campaign does its job each time you stop and take a break when you recognize signs of fatigue, each time you plan to get enough sleep before a road trip, each time you listen to an audio book to help you stay alert and awake behind the wheel, each time you take turns driving, each time you use good judgment to avoid distractions and stay focused on the road, each time you take steps toward being well rested on a daily basis, and each time you arrive alive.
Thank you for taking the time to view our Web site, to learn life-saving tips and eye-opening statistics, to donate to our not-for-profit campaign, to share drowsy-driving information, and to support Live to Run Again.
The Road to Drowsy Driving Is Paved with Good Intentions
No one wants to drive drowsy. Everyone thinks “It won’t happen to me.” Then why have so many of us experienced drowsy driving?
We’re busy. We have long to-do lists. We “don’t have time” to take a nap much less get a good night’s sleep. We view sleep as a luxury to be sacrificed so we can play catch-up or get ahead on projects. When we are in this endless cycle of activity, we get sleep deprived. Although we are getting things done, we are setting ourselves up for great risk when we get behind the wheel of a car. Remember, it’s never too late to turn things around before we have an accident. Priorities can be readjusted.
Getting sufficient sleep is not a glamorous New Year’s resolution, but it can have far-reaching effects for our health, success, and happiness. And it may save lives.
Sometimes things don’t go the way we expect. We are in a hurry, on a tight schedule, and don’t have time to spare. But the traffic is heavy, the agility trial runs late, and/or we are more tired than we thought we would be. Pushing ourselves to keep driving even though we’re tired may seem like the only option. But it’s actually a terrible choice.
Many of us walk agility courses, where we review our multiple choices for handling sequences on course. We try to identify the best path to be fast, efficient, and accurate. Then we try to think of possible alternatives in case we are not in the right place or the dog does something we didn’t expect. If we are quick on our feet we can sometimes still execute a clean run by adjusting our plan.
Having a Plan B can save your qualifying score in the agility ring and save your life on the road. Plan B could include staying overnight and driving the next morning. Or finding a safe place to rest. Or switching drivers. Never underestimate the power of having a Plan B!
Miles to Go Before I Sleep
Robert Frost had miles to go before he slept and promises to keep. Many of us can relate to that feeling. We often feel weighed down by our obligations. The problems occur when sleep creeps in while we are still driving. Promise yourself to put safety first and avoid drowsy driving. If you don’t keep that single promise it may be the last one you ever break.
Getting enough rest on a regular basis is the number one way to avoid drowsy driving, and it will have a positive impact on many aspects of our lives. How can sleep become more of a priority? Perhaps one way is to ensure that sleep time is more pleasant and make the most of our down time. If we are doing it correctly, we will sleep about one third of our lives. Why not make it as enjoyable and relaxing as possible?
Is your bedroom a place to “get away from it all”? Is your bed comfortable and clean? If not, make it a fun project and fix it up. Get good sheets, comfortable pillows, and a soft blanket. Block light if it keeps you awake. Adjust the temperature to keep it comfortable and slightly cool. Establish a routine to have a regular bed time. Experiment to find what helps you relax and fall asleep more easily. Aim to keep the room serene, clean, and clutter free. Use a soothing sound machine or white noise if it helps you relax. Have a reliable alarm clock with a battery back up so you can rest assured that you will not oversleep. Although many of these adjustments are surface level, they can add up to more sleep, the ultimate goal.
How Low (Tech) Can You Go?
You have all day to connect on social media and hear about the problems in the world. Take back the night for yourself. Think “QUALITY SLEEP.” Escape from distractions and sleep disturbances. Keep your cell phone and computer in another room. Let them recharge in peace while you do the same. Don’t wake up to check texts or e-mail. Don’t leave the TV on all night. Experiment to figure out what works for you to sleep well so you can keep those eyes open when you need them!
We take things for granted when we’re comfortable. It’s human nature. When life is good, we have many blessings. We may tend to forget how quickly things can change. Remembering to put safety first may keep us from finding out how much we can lose after a drowsy-driving accident. Count your blessings, count some sheep, and get enough sleep.
Voices in Your Head
Your mother: “Wear clean underwear.” “Say please and thank you.” “Put that away or you’re going to lose it.” “You’ll put your eye out.” “If you break your leg, don’t come running to me.” “Don’t run with scissors.” “Don’t play with matches.”
Agility instructors: “Plan short, happy training sessions.” “Get your command out on time.” “No, the other arm.” “Support that obstacle.” “What’s your criteria?” “Keep your mouth closed once he commits to the tunnel.” “Don’t reward that behavior.” “Trust your dog!”
Your third-grade spelling teacher: “I before E except after C or when sounding like WAY as in NEIGHBOR and WEIGH.” Your middle school algebra teacher: “Parentheses inside of square brackets.” Your high school English teacher: “Good writing is revised writing.”
Live to Run Again can serve no higher purpose than to become one of those useful voices in your head. “Don’t Drive Drowsy.” “Stop and take a break.” “Make sleep a priority.” “Arrive Alive.”
Our message is not about wallowing in grief and regrets. It’s about making good choices to ensure that you have a chance to do all the things you enjoy and still want to accomplish in your life. It’s about cause and effect, thinking about tomorrow, and making sure that you have a tomorrow. You have so much to look forward to. Protect your future. Dream about it while you get enough sleep.
Do It for the Dogs
Most performance dog people would do almost anything for our dogs. We drive them all over the place and spend so much time and money on them that it borders on the ridiculous. The least we can do is stay awake while we are driving them so they arrive alive. Otherwise, what the hell are we doing?