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AIBU

Should DH drive eight to nine hours in one day

(85 Posts)
maddyone Sun 14-Jul-19 21:56:58

My DH is 67 years old. His parents are both still alive, they are both 92 and live independently together about 250 miles from us. About three times a year, often for their birthdays and before Christmas, he drives up to their home, starting out about 5.30 in the morning, spends the day with them, and drives back at about 6.00 or 7.00 in the evening. The one way trip takes about four to four and a half hours, assuming no traffic jams. He is a very capable driver, has driven all over Europe and parts of America, and has been driving for over forty, nearly fifty years. He has never had an accident, and only ever had one speeding ticket, back in 1974. However, I don’t like him doing this, I feel so much driving in one day is unsafe, especially as he ages. He refuses for us to go together, and to stay a couple of nights in a Premier Inn, saying he doesn’t want to drag it out and make a big thing of it. I stay at home as I don’t want to sit in a car for eight to nine hours in one day. If I try to dissuade him, he gets a bit cross and tells me to stop trying to control him. But I worry about him. When I tell him how I feel, he just says he’s never had an accident. No he hasn’t, not yet. I worry, AIBU?

SirChenjin Sun 14-Jul-19 22:09:39

No YANBU to worry - that’s a lot of driving in one day, but it sounds like you’re not going to get anywhere with this one. Why is he being so stubborn? Is he worried about getting older and sees this as a way of proving to himself he’s still as capable as he was when he was younger? I’m just thinking out loud so that might be complete rubbish! Would it not be possible for him to stay overnight with them and have a bit more time together?

SueDonim Sun 14-Jul-19 22:10:58

I was going to say that I didn't see a problem as we make a 500 mile drive in one day regularly but having looked at your detailed info, no I wouldn't be happy with that. To get up at 5am and still be driving more than 18 hours later is a long time without sleep.

Could he not stop over for one night? It requires a minimum of packing, basically, a tooth brush and change of clothes. He could travel down at a reasonable time in the morning, see his parents later on, then have a sleep overnight. Next day, see his parents again and maybe go for lunch, then set off home and be back early evening.

Or just go with him. My dh and I share the driving but I've taken to knitting or crocheting when I'm not in the driving seat. There's also radio or podcasts to listen to.

tanith Sun 14-Jul-19 22:11:40

I’d worry too, that journey would tax anyone, I’m 71 and recently drove for 6 hrs with a short break which was certainly my limit. If he won’t agree to stay overnight there’s not a lot you can do. Just keep voicing your concerns.

paddyann Sun 14-Jul-19 22:12:52

My husband would be livid if I thought he was too old to drive that sort of distance and he's mid sixties too.He drove over 300 miles with my son to collect a car last month and back straight away only stopping for a snack on the motorway,I fyour husband feels he's capable dont try to control him its not fair ,my MIL had this from FIL in the end she just gave up driving and when he died she could have done with her car but her confidence was gone .67 isn't old by any means and as he says he hasn't had an accident so leave him be .Why look for things to worry about?

SueDonim Sun 14-Jul-19 22:22:01

Paddyann, are you seriously suggesting that to still be driving after 18 hours without sleep is a good idea? It's not allowed for professional drivers and I think the OP is right to be concerned.

I do agree that 67 isn't old but I'd worry if one of my children proposed to drive for that long without resting.

Urmstongran Sun 14-Jul-19 22:22:20

My husband is 67y too. He drove up to Plockton in Wester Ross from South Manchester one day (9 hours - 8 driving & 1hr for 2 stops) and 6 days later did the same in reverse.

Nowadays we have mobile phones for keeping in touch - he could always call you or his parents to change any arrangements.

Try not to worry. He is confident and probably, like my husband, enjoys driving.

lemongrove Sun 14-Jul-19 22:27:47

maddy my DH is older than yours, but even if he wasn’t I would kick up a fuss if he ever mooted the idea of all that driving in one day.
However good a driver, when we are older it is definitely too much.I cannot understand why he ( or both of you if you go as well) cannot stay somewhere overnight.

M0nica Sun 14-Jul-19 22:29:44

Absolutely not, at any age. Stupid dangerous ideas of machismo: 'Of course I can do it, I always have.' (thumps chest and pretends to be a gorilla, metaphorically) is what causes accidents and kills people.

annep1 Sun 14-Jul-19 22:55:05

Too much in one day. Has been fortunate in not having an accident. Should stay one night.

MissAdventure Sun 14-Jul-19 22:58:39

I would be very uneasy about it, even more so because he'll be driving alone.
Sometimes someone who is losing concentration doesn't even notice it themself.

Nannyfaraway Sun 14-Jul-19 23:01:06

Sounds too much in one day to me.
My husband has done that before but very rarely and he is 59.
We tend to do a stop over if we have to go a long way

Tangerine Mon 15-Jul-19 00:02:01

Do you drive? If you did half the driving, the problem would go and, although sitting in a car for so long isn't exactly thrilling, it isn't too bad.

I suppose it depends too on how you feel about your in-laws. Do they mind that you don't go.

I would find what your husband does too much for me but we're all different.

cornergran Mon 15-Jul-19 00:12:45

I’m wondering why you don’t visit your in-laws maddyone. Have you never gone? 500 miles in one day is a lot of driving no matter the age of the driver. . I think whoever was to be visited we would both go, share the driving and factor in an overnight stay if possible. When younger we may well have done it in a day, certainly not now as it simply would feel unsafe. So, no you aren’t being unreasonable to be concerned. In your shoes I’d be inviting myself along, sharing the driving and turning the trip into a pleasant overnight stay.

SueH49 Mon 15-Jul-19 00:19:19

I don't see a problem. Your DH seems to be quite capable of the trip and having done it often is one he is obviously comfortable with. It is basically two four and a half hour trips with a break in between. What would he be doing in the time he is with his parents?

Tommy16 Mon 15-Jul-19 01:07:10

I'm 67 still driving articulated lorries ,10 hours driving in one day is the maximum legally, spread over 15 hours ,its tiring so 18 hours is a bit much

stella1949 Mon 15-Jul-19 04:13:47

I'm 70 and regularly drive 13 hours at a stretch to visit DD. But having said that, I do it in one go with just a lunch break, and after leaving at 5am I'm there for dinner at 6-30 pm.

However I wouldn't be so keen to do two longish drives in one day with a parental visit in the middle, and still driving until about midnight.

Why don't you go along and share the driving ?

Katyj Mon 15-Jul-19 06:50:44

I'm also wondering why you don't go, surley your in laws would like to see you too.Why don't you turn it into a bit of a holiday, book into a nice hotel, for a couple of days, you could see the in laws for a short period over two or three days then .Sounds to me like he's just going out of duty and wants it over with as soon as possible.Good luck, hope he changes his mind, as he gets older this isn't going to be a good idea.

Anja Mon 15-Jul-19 06:58:23

What’s your problem? He’s happy to do it amd it’s only 3 times a year. His parents are very old and must look forward to such visits.

Yes YABU

annep1 Mon 15-Jul-19 07:01:07

Maddyone has already said her husband refuses to go with her and stay a few nights.
I wouldn't expect her to do all that travelling and sharing the driving in one day. When we drive from Holyhead to Brighton we do two overnights.

gmarie Mon 15-Jul-19 07:25:18

Anja, I think the problem is the length of time driving not the visit, itself. That's a l-o-n-g time to be on the road when you get up at 5:30 a.m., especially. Everyone thinks they can do it - until they can't.

Before I retired, I did home visits with students and families in my teaching capacity and, because some of my students lived hours away, I'd try to cram too many visits into a single day and end up driving home many hours later after dark. It only took ONE time of dozing off and snapping awake to see my car drifting into the next lane to make me change my ways.

It has less to do with age than with the mental impairment that gradually occurs as we become fatigued. People also drive after drinking a moderate amount thinking, "I can handle this" - until they can't - and they injure or kill someone else or themselves.

gmarie Mon 15-Jul-19 07:31:43

A quick Google search turned up a lot of info. including this:

Drowsy driving is dangerous because sleep deprivation can have similar effects on your body as drinking alcohol. Being awake for 18 hours straight makes you drive like you have a blood alcohol level of .05 (for reference, .08 is considered drunk). If you’ve been awake for a full 24 hours and drive—say, after a night where you just couldn’t fall asleep—it’s like you have a blood alcohol level of .10.
www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/drowsy-driving-vs-drunk-driving-how-similar-are-they

gillybob Mon 15-Jul-19 07:37:29

Well for what it’s worth my DH is also 67 and regularly does long 4-5 hour drives with a whole days (physical) work in between followed by the return journey. Mind you he is used to very long days . Not saying it’s right, just saying.

Ellianne Mon 15-Jul-19 07:50:25

This was my husband until a few years ago but he doesn't do it anymore. I was trying to think back to what made him stop, and all I can say was that had nothing to do with my persuading him not to. He just realised it for himself. I think that's the only way forward in these sort of cases.

travelsafar Mon 15-Jul-19 08:01:22

Let the train take the strain.

Surely this would be quicker and less of a worry for you.

harrigran Mon 15-Jul-19 08:24:36

I would not question my DH, if he says he is doing a certain trip he will do it. I trust he knows what he is doing as he has been driving all his adult life.

Elegran Mon 15-Jul-19 08:27:22

Put him in touch with Tommy16. (posted Mon 15-Jul-19 01:07:10) There are very good reasons why long-distance HGV drivers have tachographs in their cabs to prevent them doing exactly what your husband is doing. One of those reasons is not for the driver's benefit, but for other road users - if he does doze off on his way home after dark, he could take others with him into eternity.

Grammaretto Mon 15-Jul-19 08:30:46

My FiL regularly drove mega long distances. Scotland to the south of France etc and was so proud of himself. Luckily his licence was withdrawn due to his failing eyesight at the age of 90.
He still rides a mobility scooter!! Beware!!

Iam64 Mon 15-Jul-19 08:37:39

We had similar journeys when my parents in law lived 250 miles away from us. There was an airport half an hour from them, so my husband either flew or took the train. He did stay overnight, at first with parents, later in a hotel when his mum was in hospital after dad died.
I didn't like him driving such a long distance and don't feel you're being unreasonable.
I'm sure there are good enough reasons why you don't go and share the driving.
I didn't either, for good enough reasons

annep1 Mon 15-Jul-19 08:40:03

gmarie that must have been frightening.
Thanks for sharing.

wildswan16 Mon 15-Jul-19 08:44:50

I don't think it is the distance that is the problem, but the length of the day. Whether he realises it or not he will be tired by the end of it (especially the elderly parent visit inbetween which is probably quite stressful).

I don't know what the solution is - he already ignores your concerns. It isn't the fact that he is 67 - it would be too long a day for a 37 yr old.

GrauntyHelen Mon 15-Jul-19 08:51:41

at 67 my husband who has Parkinson's was still driving HGVs for 9hours a day! You are worrying without any reason to he's only 67 he's never had an accident and feels confident -Good for him .

Urmstongran Mon 15-Jul-19 08:54:20

Just an aside - in The Guardian this morning:

“Four Australian children from Queensland who packed fishing rods and cash into a four-wheel drive in an apparent attempt to run away from home have been found more than 900km (560 miles) away.

The children, aged 10 to 14, made it all the way from the central Queensland city of Rockhampton to Grafton in New South Wales before they were found.

One of the children left a goodbye note for their family before the group set off in a four-wheel drive that belonged to one of their fathers.”

😱

MawBroonsback Mon 15-Jul-19 09:00:44

Thank you Tommy for an objective and sensible observation, and Elegran for drawing attention to it
:01:07:10
I'm 67 still driving articulated lorries ,10 hours driving in one day is the maximum legally, spread over 15 hours ,its tiring so 18 hours is a bit much

Pantglas1 Mon 15-Jul-19 09:07:35

When my husband and I go anywhere we share the driving 2hrs then swap. He can sleep in the passenger seat (he could sleep on a clothesline actually) and I just go into one of my mindless daydreams when it’s my turn to chill.

We also use trains for some journeys as it can work out cheaper with senior railcards than paying for petrol & parking. Both in our sixties and acknowledge that we can’t/shouldn’t be doing what we did in our younger days when we drove from north Wales to south of France in 48 hours.

sodapop Mon 15-Jul-19 09:09:04

I agree with you Maddyone it's a long tiring day and unnecessary. My husband recently drove to the UK and back, over nine hours and said he would only do it with an overnight stop in future. He is 73 and was an HGV driver. Other people are at risk when a driver is tired and the driver does not always realise how his/her driving is affected.
Unfortunately it sounds like your husband is not open to discussion on this so I would not say any more for a while. I would not travel for that amount of time either so I can understand you not going with him.

annodomini Mon 15-Jul-19 09:25:28

We always shared the driving in my married life - even towing a caravan. Since then I have only done one really extended trip on my own and even then I had rest stops. Even very experienced and skilful drivers run a risk of dropping off at the wheel as they age. A risk not only to themselves but to innumerable other road users. I once felt myself falling asleep on the M6. I've never taken such a risk again.

eazybee Mon 15-Jul-19 10:22:00

I am surprised that your husband drives such a long way to see his parents, them spends so little time with them; surely they would appreciate him staying overnight? If he is still working I can see that he would not want to use up precious free time, but if he is retired then one night away would not be extreme.
I used to do a round trip of 360 miles in one day to see my parents, but they were in a nursing home, spent most of the time asleep, and I was working full time so weekends were precious. But I enjoyed driving, knew the route well, and found it less tiring than staying overnight; I was also only in my fifties.
If you went with your husband, would he let you share the driving? Somehow, I think not.

eazybee Mon 15-Jul-19 10:22:56

then, not them!

Aepgirl Mon 15-Jul-19 11:03:32

Why won’t he let you go with him and stay over for a couple of days?

TerriBull Mon 15-Jul-19 11:04:33

Yes I wouldn't be too happy if my husband undertook that sort of journey, he too has driven all over the place when we were in America and particularly France, once we made it back from Lyon to home here in the south east without any overnighters We can't share the driving because he suffers from car sickness when he isn't the one doing the driving, I've only driven him when he has been too ill to drive. He wouldn't undertake that sort of journey anymore just finds long drives too tiring these days. If we go as far as say Edinburgh we will do an overnight stop in maybe Derbyshire. I can remember when our kids were young and we went down to France every year, you forget how big it is until you're over there driving into an endless day and still being miles from the destination, and finally getting there dog tired.

I don't think you're being unreasonable I'd try and encourage him to stay with his parents overnight, if that's possible, and set off home the next day, hopefully refreshed.

BradfordLass72 Mon 15-Jul-19 11:09:57

I lose patience with people who say, 'I'm a good/safe/competent/experienced driver' because they think, I won't cause an accident but the fact is, competent, experienced drivers with perfect records, cause accidents every day from refusing to admit they are tired, or even not knowing they are.

It's not about YOU, silly driver, it's about the people you may hurt or kill, even a child, because your reactions were just 2 seconds too late.

As for this: 'he doesn’t want to drag it out and make a big thing of it.' It makes me want to slap his ears.

Since when has getting a decent amount of rest so you are safe on the road been classed as 'a big thing'?

He needs to start thinking about someone other than himself and he'd be wise to begin with you and your natural concerns.

Gosh, I'm cross !! angry

BazingaGranny Mon 15-Jul-19 11:15:22

Can’t speak for your husband, but I find driving two hours to our friends on the coast and then two hours back in one day, is too much for me now. I certainly wouldn’t want a drive of six hours somewhere and six hours back in one day.

After a very, VERY, unpleasant puncture on the motorway at night recently, in the cold and dark, I’m also trying to avoid any journey on my own in the car late at night as well.

Does your husband dislike the idea of spending money on a train, flight or hotel? If he books in advance he could get one night in a Travelodge for £29.00 and take his own food.

Other objective views here have suggested that two long drives is 18 hours in genuinely too much for anyone. But I doubt you’ll change his mind unless you can prove it’s illegal to drive as he has done, and I’m not sure it is for a private individual. Or is it? 🚗 🚙

maddyone Mon 15-Jul-19 11:38:42

Well thank you ladies and gentlemen for all your responses, I didn’t expect such a big response and really do appreciate you all taking the time to reply. There are a variety of different opinions expressed, some for, some against, but I will try to answer some of the queries.

I don’t go with my husband to share the driving because he likes to go in his car, which is a VW Passat, and which I love to be a passenger in, but don’t like to drive as I find it cumbersome and heavy. I enjoy driving my little Hyundai i20, and I have driven it up country alone to visit my mother (who now lives near to us in a sheltered apartment) or my sister. We could use that, but even then, my husband does not make a good passenger, even on short journeys, and so I find it more comfortable and less stressful to simply be a passenger and let him drive. Plus I don’t want to spend nine hours in a car in one day, nor do I want to spend 18 hours driving or being driven, and visiting, because as many have pointed out, it is a very long day, and I don’t see any need to stress ourselves in such a way now we are retired.

I have repeatedly asked my husband to stay over for just one night at his mother’s house, but he refuses. I can’t get him to give me a reason, just a refusal.

I have repeatedly suggested that we stay over two nights at a nearby Premier Inn, and that way we could see more family members, and I could visit my very dear friend from my school days, but the response is always that he doesn’t want to drag it out, especially when we have this, that, or the other to get back for (we do a fair bit of childcare, especially in school holidays.)

I feel reassured that I’m not being unreasonable in worrying about him doing this long drive, because many of you have agreed, but I also feel reassured by those of you who have said he’s not yet too old, and that you or your partners still drive these distances, or even longer distances. I know I’ll never be able to stop him, because once he’s decided something, he’ll do it (or in other words he’s quite stubborn.)

There is another visit being planned as his father’s birthday is coming up. I have suggested, and will continue to suggest, that we both go together and stay over for two nights, and I’ll say I would like to see my dear friend. He may be persuaded but I’ll have to see.

maddyone Mon 15-Jul-19 11:45:45

Oh I forgot, he absolutely will not countenance the idea of travelling by train or plane. I frequently used the plane, Southampton to Manchester, when I went alone to visit my parents, which worked well for me, because although I did also sometimes drive alone, the plane is much quicker (well on actual travelling time, but of course there is the check in time etc which makes the door to door journey not much different.) Anyway, DH will not use public transport, although I’d be much happier about that.

maddyone Mon 15-Jul-19 11:47:26

Yes Bradfordlass, I absolutely agree with you.

grandtanteJE65 Mon 15-Jul-19 11:50:54

I find it difficult to know whether you are being reasonable or not, as I have no idea how fit your husband is.

Based on your information, he is an experienced driver and used to making this particular journey, so it sounds safe enough to me.

If during his working life he frequently drove a similar distance in a similar time, I just cannot see the problem.

My husband is nearly always up at five a.m. and would quite naturally set off at that time of day.

If however you feel your husband is no longer as good a driver as he used to be, then worrying is reasonable, but won't get you anywhere.

No one likes being told they should no longer be driving, believe me I have been through that hoop twice with both my parents.

If the time has come to tell your husband to stop driving, try to get others to make the initial suggestion - it will cause offence, but he is more likely to listen to anyone in the world rather than you, his wife, on this particular subject.

Theoddbird Mon 15-Jul-19 11:51:41

gmarie has posted interesting info. I think the original poster's husband should read it.

annifrance Mon 15-Jul-19 11:55:42

My best friend aged 72 regularly drives from the South East to her house down here. She leaves at 4am and arrives at 8pm. She does regular stops, gives the dog a run, eats and drinks coffee or Red Bull. I really don't think it's wise, and she is doing the alpha male bit!!

She always calls me at least once en route and then when she arrives here. I did the journey with her last summer and it's not a difficult journey, mainly motorway but it's long. Last winter I heard nothing from her all day, no answer from the house and by 10.30pm I was getting very worried. I logged on to BBC news and found that northern France was hit by a massive blizzard. Paris was shut, as were schools, motorways etc and advice not to leave home. we had a sleepless night, thinking about tracing her route and going to find her, calling friends in Paris, getting on to the Gendarmerie, worried about the dog.

At 8.30 next morning she called all merry and bright. It appeared that the snow has followed behind her down through France, she couldn't get mobile signal and her Livebox wasn't working when she called at 8pm! It kicked in during the night! I was really rather cross with her, for our sleepless night and all the people that would have helped to find her. And what a stupid thing to do in February.

We are trying to persuade her to stop for a night, we have never done that drive in one day, even with two drivers. Her response is that doesn't want to spend the money on a hotel which she could spend on good wine. ridiculous given she is comfortably off. The real reason being she doesn't like to eat dinner alone in a hotel!!! Grrrrrrr. What can I do to persuade her not to do this drive in one go?

EthelJ Mon 15-Jul-19 12:10:34

I don't understand why he refuses to stay overnight or for a couple of night in a hotel. Or why it would be wrong to make it 'too much of a thing' As you say you could also go and perhaps make a nice trip of it. Probably his parents would enjoy it more too.
What is his relationship with his parents like? It sounds as though he doesn't want to spend too much time with them.
I would worry too about that amount of travelling in one day.

Annaram1 Mon 15-Jul-19 12:12:02

Maddy, perhaps you could say that you would really like to see your father in law for his birthday. Perhaps that might be better than saying you want to se a friend, who may not be important to him. Say you want to stay at his parents if possible, if they have room, or elsewhere if not. If you have not had a holiday recently make the trip interesting with a visit to a stately home or somewhere else he might enjoy. Stay at least 2 or 3 nights and have a real break. Good luck.

SirChenjin Mon 15-Jul-19 12:12:15

I was really rather cross with her, for our sleepless night and all the people that would have helped to find her

I think this sums it up for me. People who tend to do the airy 'don't fuss, I know what I'm doing' thing forget that their actions have consequences for others - it's an incredibly selfish way of thinking, especially when there are perfectly doable alternatives which would be safer and less stressful for their families.

GoldenAge Mon 15-Jul-19 12:17:35

It’s not driving 500 miles in one day that’s the problem it’s driving 250 one way then staying awake to interact with 92 year old parents and then driving the other 250 miles back - suggestions that hubby should be left to do what he wants to massage his ego are reckless - he may be a brilliant driver with a wonderful record of road safety but there are millions of other people on the road and his reactions will not be as swift at the end of his long day as at the beginning - that believe it or not is the reason for tacographs! I share a similar journey with my hubby but we stopped doing this in one day two years ago - both now 70 - because even sharing the driving we experienced aches and pains that affect your posture and driving ability - if you don’t like sitting in the car for 8 hours and he doesn’t want to drag it out why not book a bed and breakfast close to his parents without telling them - that way you could spend longer with them and leave ostensibly to drive home but really flop into bed and get a sensible night’s sleep before a leisurely drive home the following day?

Jane10 Mon 15-Jul-19 12:36:00

I expect that his parents would appreciate more than this sort of flying visit. Is that an angle you could take? A couple of nights in a B&B or Travelodge would allow for a more relaxed catch up for them all. Also if he had any concerns about them it would allow time for him to speak to GP or carers etc. A time may come when he just plain has to spend longer with them.

JanaNana Mon 15-Jul-19 12:50:36

I sympathise with you Maddyone but as you have explained further down the thread your husband won't consider flying or going by train.....you can take a horse to water ....etc! I think now maybe time for a different approach. As you have said above you could also visit other family members and old friends if you were both going and staying a couple of night in a hotel, so this should be about both of you. Buy a couple of senior railcards and tell your husband you would love to visit his parents with him again, but being a passenger on a long journey each way is too much, and just for a change you have decided on the train to visit them and also seeing other members of family. You can easily get taxis to parents and other people you would like to see and have a hotel for a couple of nights. After all this is only 3 times a year not on a regular basis. You are not asking him to no longer drive anywhere at all but just take you into account as well. This could be a nice mini break, more family and friends time too.

Newatthis Mon 15-Jul-19 12:52:44

This does seem like a long way to go for just a day, even by someone who is younger. Why not both of you make it an overnighter. He doesn't have to 'string it out' but it could be quite a little romantic getaway for you both. There are lots of overnight hotel, b n b bargain sto be had so it doesn't have to be expensive.

Septimia Mon 15-Jul-19 13:06:07

Although I drive, DH seldom gives up the wheel to me. We're 67, too, and recently he drove from south of the border to nearly as far north in Scotland as you can get in one day, but with several stops. He drove back from the very north in one go, too, but again with several stops. This week we're going south - 4 and half hours - and he'll do all the driving. Often, though, we'll stop off in a budget hotel or B&B to break the trip up. I wouldn't let him do it in one go by himself if I could help it.

SueDonim Mon 15-Jul-19 13:15:55

Yes, it's not the distance, it's the time that's the issue. I've had to make a lot of journeys from the Aberdeen area to Kent this year due to a family issue. That's about 520 miles. We almost always do it in one day but we share the driving and through experience over many years we've learnt which are the best days and best times of day to travel to avoid the worst of the traffic.

Driving when you're tired can be so dangerous and yes, it's selfish. I've had to sit with a friend whose mother was killed by a driver who fell asleep at the wheel. The driver was my friend's father. He dropped off to sleep while driving and veered off the road into a lay-by, where he rear-ended another vehicle, killing his own wife. shock

Mcrc Mon 15-Jul-19 13:17:05

Sounds like he is just fine. He has good genes if his parents are in their 90's. Sometimes we get too worried and project what might or might not happen. It is just a few times a year. try not to fret

newnanny Mon 15-Jul-19 13:51:22

It sounds as if he has made up his mind and will not change it no matter what you say. All you can suggest really is that he stops for 30 mins mid journey. I drive down to Devon several times each year, that is a three 1/4 hour trip if no traffic, in summer considerably longer. In the past I used to get up early and drive down and back in one day now I stay overnight at my sisters but sounds like your dh does not want to do this. I would just leave him to it.

Legs55 Mon 15-Jul-19 13:54:47

Mcrc I disagree with you, I visit my DM about twice a year, 300 miles each way. My DM is 90 & I'm 63, I'm used to driving distances but the first time I did the journey after DH died I stopped half way overnight as I was unsure about doing the journey in one hit on my own even though I had often done all the driving with DH as a passenger.

Since then I have made the journey with quick stops in one go BUT I stay a few days. I couldn't drive there & back without some recovery time & I would share your OP's concerns. I have to drive as I need the car to get around, DM lives in a village with no shops or bus service. I would prefer to go by train but it's not practical now DM doesn't drive (she sold her car a few years ago).

Tiredness kills. OP is right to be concerned.

Norah Mon 15-Jul-19 14:35:12

We do, often. Down to the ability of the driver and their sleep habits.

leyla Mon 15-Jul-19 14:46:29

You are right to be concerned. It is inappropriate for anyone to do all that in one day. His insistence is selfish as it's quite possibly not only him that would be killed if he lost concentration at the wheel.

debbiemon123 Mon 15-Jul-19 14:55:58

my parents live 250 miles from me ( takes 6 hours usually .....they live in Norfolk 😳😳) , and are 88 and 86 . I am 59 and cannot understand why you would want to drive to see your parents and back in one day .... unless in an emergency. I drive to see them and stay at least 3 days . Or I get the train . Why put yourself through such stress ...it is dangerous, even if you love driving .

Granfran Mon 15-Jul-19 16:21:39

Does he have a twin?😂 Sounds identical to my DH. Good luck 💐

eazybee Mon 15-Jul-19 17:05:28

Sorry, but I don't think your husband will compromise in any way and will continue to insist on making these almost pointless journeys to massage his ego.
He won't train or plane, can't travel with you driving, won't stay overnight, won't stay for two nights so you can see family members, and won't accept that in any way he will become a road hazard.
As someone else said, he may well cause an accident and inflict damage, or worse, on other people.
Is he this pig-headed about other things?

Jane10 Mon 15-Jul-19 17:19:20

It's a bit insulting to his parents that he can't be bothered to stay any length of time with them.

SisterAct Mon 15-Jul-19 17:49:53

As Ellianne says you have made your point and only he can decide now if he was doing it in a few years more questions could be asked. Personally I think it’s too much for anyone as said above professional drivers aren’t allowed.

Another thought for me is why won’t he stay over if only going to see his parents 3 times a year surely they would like to see him for longer and do you get to see
them ?

Camelotclub Mon 15-Jul-19 18:02:27

Truck drivers wouldn't be allowed to do that! On the other hand, it's not often and he's only 67. My DH is 71 and I wouldn't be too worried about such a journey if it was only occasionally. He'll do what he wants to do.

Chinesecrested Mon 15-Jul-19 18:33:16

You could go with him? Say you can't do the double journey in in one day and you'll have to stay over, either at their house or at a Premier Inn or similar. Either he stays with you or you'd have to get the train next day. He won't want that.

AlisonKF Mon 15-Jul-19 20:24:34

I was obliged to give up driving three years ago at 79. Although I am cut off from so many things, I reflect that I would still rather be alive if the roads are full of irrational people driving well beyond the legal hours for professionals. Af 67, doing what these men insist is fine is a kind of vanity. Before giving up I drove all over the UK and Ireland but stopped every two and a half hours and never drove more than 250 miles in a day. This is common sense on the jam packed motorways of today.

cpwle Mon 15-Jul-19 20:47:01

Hi my husband fell asleep at the wheel of our car and hit another car head on at 70mph. The three of us in our car were seriously injured and are living with the consequences of this 3 years on. Fortunately the people in the other car suffered minor injuries but it could have been so much worse. It is utterly selfish to drive this distance in a day. No matter how good a driver he is he is putting himself and others at risk. Please ask him to consider how he would feel if he caused an accident and people were seriously injured or killed. It simply isn't worth it. I hope he will reconsider.

maddyone Mon 15-Jul-19 23:30:50

Well thank you again for all your responses, I totally agree with those of you who have said he shouldn’t be driving this far in one day, obviously that’s why I worry. I also understand those of you who have said that you or your partners do drive this far in a day. The trouble is, as I said, he simply won’t listen to any of my suggestions or requests with regard to this. He knows I worry, he knows all the arguments because he’s heard them all before from me. His parents are always delighted to see him, and apparently have no concerns about him driving this far in a day. His father still drives and he’s 92. FiL only stopped driving down the country to see us, admittedly coming for a few days, when my husband refused to invite them as he considered them too old to drive that distance. That was about five and a half years ago so his father must have been around 86/87 then, so with that example I suppose he thinks he’s got many more years of driving left to him, which I sincerely hope he has, just not driving up and down the country in one day.
I worry about him, I worry about other people, and I worry about me if he has an accident. I’ve never told his family I worry, maybe I should, but it would have to be his brothers, because his parents simply can’t see any danger in it. They would nod and agree but never then suggest to him it might be dangerous.
For now, I think I’m going to push the idea of us going together this time, and of us staying over. There’s a brand new Premier Inn nearby which is very acceptable, and it doesn’t cost very much to stay there. We do actually go up from time to time anyway to visit family and friends, we were last there in March to celebrate his brother’s Ruby Wedding, it’s just that he still wants to do these day visits as well. He’s very independent (stubborn) and hates being told what to do. I think that as much as anything is what makes him resistant to my suggestions. He thinks his family is his affair and I shouldn’t say anything about it. He has in the past even accused me of wanting to stop him visiting his family which is totally untrue, particularly as he does so very much to help my own mother.
Thanks again ladies and gents, at least I know I’m not being unreasonable.

maddyone Mon 15-Jul-19 23:32:57

cpwle, I’m so sorry to hear about your accident. It is exactly because of the possibility of something like this happening that I worry.

oodles Mon 15-Jul-19 23:42:38

Listen to what the former HGV driver has said. If it is dangerous for a professional driver to be driving over such a long period without sleep it's dangerous for your DH. It's not the distance particularly, it wouldn't be a problem if he did it in a shorter period although you should take a break every couple of hours which it doesn't sound like he's doing, maybe he is, we don't know. You get signs on the motorway saying how tiredness kills. If he sets off at 5,30 he's going to have been up for a while getting his breakfast and getting dressed so he's going to have been awake longer.
The Great Heck train crash was caused by a driver who had been up all night, who seems to have wholly lost concentration if he didn't fall asleep. He was imprisoned for causing death by dangerous driving. OK, he drove onto a railway, and most of the deaths were caused by the subsequent train crash caused by his landrover being on the line, but it could have been other cars, if the motorway is busy it could cause a multicar pile up. If off the motorway he could career into a pedestrian.
Someone who falls asleep or just loses concentration for a minute due to tiredness could wipe any of us out if we were in the wrong place
If I were you I'd not want to go in the car with him TBH. For the birthday why not get a railcard and go on the train, look up how to split tickets, so you can find the cheapest way to do it. Stay and visit your old friend and have a bit of a relaxing break.
If he doesn't want to be with his parents for more than the day, he doesn't have to go home that night, he could leave same time, and do the first bit of the journey and come off at the cheapest Travelodge, and have an early night, and set the alarm and get a good night's sleep and set off early in the morning and be back home by time to go to work or do whatever he is fretting about. Same outcome, but much safer. And better for his health, it can't be good for anyone to do that at any age, but much worse as he gets older.

maddyone Mon 15-Jul-19 23:49:21

oodles, I agree it’s dangerous, that’s why I’m worried. Firstly he refuses to use public transport, but in any case we wouldn’t use the train because plane is much more convenient from where we are. To use the train we have to go up to London first and then get the train to Manchester. This particular journey is not well served by trains, but by air it’s very convenient.

oodles Tue 16-Jul-19 00:18:07

maddyone, I wholly get why you're worried, just hoping that maybe something someone says might hit home to him\
If flying is better then fly up there and see your friend.
My parents are a similar distance north of London as Manchester is, and I'm an hour's drive north of London, so I know how much driving up there takes out of me, in fact so much that if I am going up for just a couple of days I'll not even consider driving.
Last year I decided to attend something over in Manchester from my parents', and I had to be up so early, to get the train, although not an easy journey; the day was fun but by the time I got back 15 hours later than I'd woken up I was absolutely shattered. And I didn't have to drive the train either lol!

Grannycool52 Tue 16-Jul-19 08:35:46

We have a longish drive to visit my mother. I used to do it on my own, there & back in the one day. Then we saw public service messages on telly, saying it was dangerous to drive more than 2 hours without a break because of the fatigue factor.
Now the two of us go, stop for coffee + swap drivers every two hours, and we visit mum, stay in a hotel overnight, relax over a good meal, and visit mum again the next day and drive home again. It works very well.

M0nica Tue 16-Jul-19 11:23:55

Last week DH had a micro-sleep on the motorway, we were in the inevitable rush-hour nose-to-tail stop start queue and no damage was done to anyone or any vehicle.

DH has been tired and sleepy recently so went to see his GP. What he didn't expect was his GP to immediately 'advise' him not to drive for the time being while it was investigated.

And this is the point maddyone, my DH is older than yours but still works part time, including driving to Belgium for meetings etc, so driving long distances is a regular occurrence, he does get tired more quickly than he did when driving but as a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists, he is careful about this and has regular breaks and, when we are together we share the driving, but his micro-sleep caught him by surprise.

He was fortunate that it was a very slow speed shunt, no damage to anyone or any vehicle, but if your DH starts feeling tired on the long journey home after a long busy day (and he will) but insists on pushing himself on and has a micro-sleep, he could have it happen at 70mph in the outside lane and he could drift into the central barrier or the lorry he is overtaking.

Our daughter has a disabled right arm as the result of a road accident caused by another driver's momentary lack of attention, it wasn't a micro-sleep, but could have been.

Your DH needs to learn to scrap the machismo and be practical and consider the results to him and other people if he has an accident caused by tiredness.

justwokeup Tue 16-Jul-19 22:05:41

Some cars have seats which can sense when you are tired - and are surprisingly accurate. Maybe you can suggest he gets sensors to fit in his car, if that's possible, as he might feel better about it if the car 'tells' him that he is tired, rather than you. IMO, I think you are wise not to go with him; I think it might make things worse if you were there. He might be more stressed if you are in the car as he knows you are anxious. Also, as he seems unlikely to change his mind about doing all the journey in one day, it would then be both of you who would be in danger.

NotAGran55 Wed 17-Jul-19 06:32:38

There is obviously no answer unless one of you compromises . You could share the driving or he could agree to a stop-over .

Tedber Wed 17-Jul-19 17:01:55

Agree with NotAGran55 but you say your husband only sees his ageing parents 3 times a year? He doesn't want to stay over and make it longer than a dutiful visit? I take it they aren't close then?

I guess I am just thinking if I still had my parents in their nineties I would spend a lot more time with them?

As for the driving? I would be concerned but not a lot you can do really. My husband is 67 and thinks he is 27! He wouldn't be so adamant about not staying overnight somewhere though especially to see elderly relatives.

maddyone Thu 18-Jul-19 12:42:07

My husband goes on these one day visits about three times a year, but we do go together sometimes and stay for two or three days, when we can see other friends and relatives too. The last time we did that was March, when we went up to his brother and wife’s Ruby Wedding celebration. We have started to stay in a nearby Premier Inn as his mother is no longer able to cope with visitors staying in the house, hardly surprisingly as she is 92. He phones his parents regularly and spends about half an hour on the phone with them, this happens at least twice a week or more. He has three brothers who live near his parents and so he is lucky in that he knows that if they need help, his brothers are there. However, he helps enormously with my own mother, who now lives near to us and requires a lot of support. He organisers her utilities for her, sorts out all the official stuff for her, takes her to her many medical appointments if I can’t, is currently selling her car for her (thank goodness, she wasn’t fit to drive but insisted, but the police picked her up and it turned out her eyesight is too poor to drive, so she lost her license, which is a relief frankly) and so on. He would do the same for his parents if a) they would let him ie utilities, and b) if he was nearer.
The problem as I see it is nothing to do with how often or not he sees his elderly parents, but I feel it’s not safe to drive there and back in a day, and I worry about him, and I worry about other people. His parents clearly do not see any problem in him doing this.
Thank you for all your responses, I have told him about what has been said, and left him to think about it. I have also said yet again that I think we should go together and spend a couple of nights up there, he immediately said no, one night! I’m going to carry on with my suggestion of two nights. He also complained that I wouldn’t want to set off at 5.30 in the morning, and wouldn’t want to spend all that time with his parents (I absolutely would want to see my dear friend) so he thinks of reasons why I shouldn’t go, which leads me to think that actually he prefers to go alone, and doesn’t want me with him.

Iam64 Thu 18-Jul-19 19:44:29

maddyone, you've faced some critical comments here with equanimity.
The additional information you've given puts some of the negative comments in their place imo. The face your husband has three brothers living close to their parents must be reassuring for you two.
You may be right, your husband wants to stick to his present plans of a long drive, visit and long drive back. For what its worth, I'm with you, it's too long a day for someone of his age. If he's willing to go along with your suggestion of one overnight, grab that and hope that he'll begin to realise 24 hours of driving and visiting is not sensible.

maddyone Fri 19-Jul-19 19:05:47

Thank you Iam64.

Obviously I have all the knowledge of the background to the situation, and I only asked the question is it unreasonable for my husband to drive such distances in one day. My husband is a very good and caring son, a gem of a son in law, and a lovely Grandad and helpful Dad. Incidentally, he is a good husband too, and one I want to to hold on to, and the drives he does in his role as a caring son puts him into danger in my opinion, and could also endanger others. Yes, he can be stubborn, but an uncaring son he is not. Were he uncaring about his parents, he would not bother to go at all, and he would leave everything to his brothers, and there are many people like that around. His fault is that he does not see the danger, he has always been a positive and optimistic person, his glass is never half empty, it is always half full. But I want him to take better care of himself by recognising the possibility of an accident, and I certainly do not want him to be a danger to others. I have set in motion the possibility of us going together this time, and I hope we can cross this bridge together.