April 30, 2012
Research by the National Sleep Foundation has found that 60 percent of adult drivers–about 168 million people–say they have driven a vehicle while feeling drowsy in the past year, and more than one-third have actually fallen asleep at the wheel. These drivers were responsible for the more than 100,000 accidents that resulted in an estimated 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries.
Five people were injured and a teen died as a result of one of these crashes just over two weeks ago. According to WVEC 13 News, the accident happened around 6:15 a.m. on Route 58 in Suffolk County, Virginia. The family was heading home to Virginia Beach when the father fell asleep at the wheel and veered off the highway. The SUV than ran into a culvert and rolled onto its side. No one in the vehicle was wearing a seatbelt at the time.
The mother and her 3-year-old daughter were ejected from the vehicle, while the father was able to crawl out of the wreckage. Two of the children were trapped inside the SUV, while their 16-year-old brother perished in the crash. The surviving five members of the family were taken to local hospitals to receive treatment.
Lowell “The Hammer” Stanley, the Norfolk Auto Accident Lawyer, says that it’s important that motorists never drive when drowsy or sleep-deprived. He adds that if you do become tired while driving, pull over immediately and rest.