PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – One in five fatal crashes involves drowsy driving, according to AAA. Now, a government organization wants to see changes to help reduce those accidents.
Dashcam video captured what can happen when a driver dozes off.
Six years ago, Kerrie Warne lost her son Tyler in a crash. Police say he fell asleep at the wheel.
“I remember screaming at the top of my lungs and collapsing because that couldn’t be true,” said Warne.
A new report from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates there are 1.2 million collisions every year because of drowsy driving, killing up to 8,000 people.
The agency says steps need to be taken to prevent drowsy driving, including more signs warning people of the dangers. The group is also calling for more states to make laws that punish drivers who fall asleep at the wheel.
Technology may also help. Several automakers, including Mercedes and Ford, have systems that read your steering habits and can detect when you are drowsy.
“If people are reminded that they need to pull over and rest that’s certainly a good thing,” said Kelsey Mays from Cars.com
But Mays says people shouldn’t rely on their vehicle alone to wake them up.
“It’s important for you to recognize your own drowsiness before you get behind the wheel,” said Mays.
Doing so could mean the difference between life and death.
For more information on how to avoid drowsy driving, click here.