The times I pushed it too far. (or: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.)
With a job like this, and a desperate for business as I was, I found myself often pushing the hours and telling myself “One more ride.” One turns into two, three, etc. Several times I got too caught up and really needing to stop, but I just kept pushing. I would think about the the things that motivated me to keep going and I would do it for those reasons. (I have kids to feed.) But the difference between being successful in this career and being on the news the next morning is knowing when enough is enough; knowing when you are too tired. Often, I would push that line. Very stupidly, I would flirt with disaster and take risks I should have never have taken. It should have taken just one incident to keep me from repeating mistakes but I’m a slow learner apparently. Several times I have told myself “I’m done, go home” just to pull away from the drop off and have another request come in after hour eleven and have me screaming at my phone. I would start work at 5PM just to be turning down rides at 4AM that were coming in so often, I couldn’t turn the app off. I am very grateful and lucky that I did not have any accidents or other tragedies during these times. The Universe has other plan for me. But these are a few times where I should have stuck to my plan. Enjoy, and learn from my near-misses.
Fatigued driving can be just as deadly as drunk driving. Know your limits, don’t be stupid. I made mistakes and I would not suggest that anyone try it. I regret doing it, and I am not trying to glamorize it. I now make extra efforts to prevent driving while tired and have spent many hours sleeping in parking lots or on the side of the road if I’m too tired. Life is too precious to waste being foolish.