Drowsy driving leads to 1-car accident on I-15; safety tips for sleepy drivers

A Honda Accord is towed after the driver fell asleep and went off the road, Washington, Utah, June 6, 2015 | Photo by Jessica Tempfer, St George News

WASHINGTON CITY — Drowsy driving led to a single-vehicle accident Saturday morning when a man in a Honda Accord fell asleep at the wheel and drove off the road near Washington City.

At 9:55 a.m., the Utah Highway Patrol and Utah Department of Transportation responded to the accident, which occurred on the southbound Interstate 15 on-ramp at Exit 16.

Honda Accord ran off road due to drowsy driving|Photo courtesy Jessica Tempfer, St George News.
A Honda Accord after going off the road due to drowsy driving, Washington, Utah, June 6, 2015 | Photo by Jessica Tempfer, St George News

The driver’s employer had sent him home because he seemed tired, UHP Trooper Mike Murphy said.

The man said he remembers just dozing off, and the next thing he knew he was driving off the side of the road, Murphy said.

The driver was wearing his seat belt at the time of accident and was not injured.

The car sustained minor damage, including a broken window and mirror caused by hitting a delineator post.

No other cars or individuals were involved in the incident.

Most people realize that drinking and driving is dangerous, but they don’t realize that driving drowsy is just as fatal. Driving drowsy can delay reaction time, decrease awareness and increase the risk of crashing.

“The best advice is to get off the road and sleep,” Murphy said.

Honda Accord ran off road due to drowsy driving|Photo courtesy Jessica Tempfer, St George News.
A Honda Accord is towed after the driver fell asleep and went off the road, Washington, Utah, June 6, 2015 | Photo by Jessica Tempfer, St George News

How to prevent drowsy driving

According to the National Sleep Foundation, one in 10 drivers fell asleep at the wheel in 2014. One in eight crashes require hospitalization due to drowsy driving, and one in six drowsy driving incidents are fatal accidents.

The National Sleep Foundation offers the following tips to help prevent drowsy driving accidents:

  • Make sure to get enough sleep before you drive. Most adults will need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.
  • Don’t drive if you have been up for 24 hours or longer.
  • If you are feeling tired while driving, pull over into a safe parking lot and take a nap, or find somewhere to stay for the night.

This report includes preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

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Email: jtempfer@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • ladybugavenger June 6, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Were drugs a factor of drowsiness?

    • CaliGirl June 7, 2015 at 6:57 am

      No, just stupidity. Maybe his employer should have had him take a nap before sending a drowsy driver on the road.

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