An 18 year old woman is left in critical condition after an Illinois car accident early Monday morning, according to WGN-TV.com. At around 12:30 a.m. the 21 year old male driver fell asleep behind the wheel on I-57 near Robbins, Illinois, ultimately sending the vehicle off the road – striking both a tree and high voltage equipment. While the driver did not sustain any injuries, the female passenger was airlifted to a local hospital. There is still no word on her condition, although it is confirmed that alcohol did not play a role in the accident.
Unfortunately, “drowsy driving” is not an uncommon occurrence. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s 2009 Sleep in America pool, about 28% of Americans admitted to falling asleep while driving within the past year, in addition, more than half confirmed that they had driven while drowsy. Additionally, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that drowsy driving results in 1,550 deaths, 71,000 injuries and more than 100,000 accidents each year. It has been established that drivers all of ages, ranging from 16-59, are negatively affected from drowsy driving.
According to Chicago accident lawyer Steven Levin, “Drowsy driving can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you feel tired, you should pull off the road and rest, or have someone else drive.” DrowsyDriving.org also provides more helpful tips to prevent accidents, such as this one, from happening in the first place. To avoid driving drowsy; drivers should get an adequate night’s sleep before travel, avoid driving long distances alone, take a break ever 100 miles or 2 hours, avoid medications that cause a drowsy side-effects, and lastly consume caffeine to stay alert.
With more people travelling during the summer months, it is important to remind family and friends of the risks associated with drowsy driving. We urge our readers to avoid this dangerous practice and help raise awareness.