Senator Roméo Dallaire says he nodded off at the wheel of his car and crashed into a traffic barrier on Parliament Hill Tuesday.
The retired general said the news last week of three suicides of Canadian soldiers, coupled with the coming 20th anniversary of the Rwanda genocide, have left him unable to sleep, even with medication.
He said he simply did not monitor his fatigue level and fell asleep at the wheel.
Dallaire commanded the ill-fated United Nations peacekeeping mission in Rwanda which could not stave off the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of people in 1994.
He suffered debilitating psychological problems afterward and eventually retired from the military.
He was named to the Senate by Paul Martin in 2005.
Dallaire apologized to his fellow senators for his car accident, saying he was grateful no one was hurt. "I simply ran out of steam and fell asleep and crashed my car," he said.