Drowsy driving has become an issue across the country. In Washington state, officials just reported a rollover accident involving a driver who reportedly fell asleep on the wheel. According to the reports, the driver was a 13-year-old boy driving two adults. All occupants were taken to the hospital following the crash.
According to the official reports, the 13-year-old was driving a 2003 Honda Accord vehicle in the southbound lanes of Highway 243 in Grant County when he allowed the car to leave the roadway to the right. The vehicle eventually rolled over, coming to rest off the highway and facing traffic.
Officials reported that while the investigation is ongoing, they are not sure why the young teenager was behind the wheel. Causes cited for the crash included fatigue and inexperience.
Drowsy Driving Puts Thousands At Accident Risk Yearly
The National Sleep Foundation reports that half of U.S. adult drivers claim they often operate a motor vehicle while feeling tired and drowsy. Additionally, 20% of drivers admitted they have fallen asleep while driving at least once in the past year while 40% claim they have fallen asleep behind the wheel at least once in their lives.
Considering at least 5,000 people died in drowsy driving accidents in 2015 alone, we must remember to avoid sitting behind the wheel when we are tired.
While drowsy, drivers experience slower reaction times and less awareness of hazards, making them less likely to avoid collisions. Just like distracted and drunk driving, motorists become unable to safely operate a vehicle while drowsy, making the practice not only dangerous but also more likely to lead to legal trouble in the case of an accident.
If you drive regularly and you are guilty of having done so drowsy at times, rethink your attitude and make the necessary changes to ensure you are never operating a vehicle while tired.
For more on the story of the accident, follow this link.