Sleepy Drivers

Statistics put out by the Chinese government this week show that the roads in China are the deadliest in the world.  Here’s how the AP reports on this phenomenon:

Once again, China‘s roads are the deadliest in the
world, a government news agency said Friday. For the 11th consecutive year,
China has topped the list in number of traffic deaths – 5.1 for every 10,000
motor vehicles. The Xinhua News Agency report says
government statistics show nearly 82,000 road deaths in China last year. Xinhua
said the world average was two deaths per 10,000 vehicles. The most current U.S.
government statistics online reported about 1.7 fatalities per 10,000 registered
vehicles in 2006.

I think that one of the contributors to this problem in Beijing is sleepy taxi drivers.  I came home tonight from across town, and for the last few miles my driver was having the hardest time staying awake.  He kept slowing down and wandering from lane to lane.  At one point he was breathing so heavily, I thought he might actually be snoring. 

Graciously I made it home safely.  But suggested to the driver that he might need to pull over somewhere for a short nap!