More Injury Crashes Blamed On Drowsy Driving
Thousands of you will hit the road for the Thanksgiving Holiday, but there's some sobering statistics that may give you pause as you jump into the car.
The number of drivers who fall asleep at the wheel from being tired or fainting and crash is on the rise.
In fact - over 1,400 crashes last year were linked to drowsy driving.
Those statistics hit close to home for a Reynoldsburg mother.
Sharonda Clanton has a message for anyone who thinks they can drive while tired and just keep going. She says her son tried it, and it ended up costing him his life.
Javonte Clanton was Mr. Everything in sports.
“If you look at his basketball pictures they all look like NBA shots," says his mother.
Sharonda believes Javonte had NBA potential. But the 20-year-old's life came to end on a West Virginia Highway in 2009.
Hours after playing in the Division II Sweet 16 basketball tournament, police say Javonte fell asleep at the wheel and died when his car went airborne striking a tree.
Javonte had left his college campus in South Carolina to attempt 600 miles--to see his mother in Reynoldsburg.
“When he told me he was coming home my exact words to him was you don't need to be coming home for Easter just wait”, she said.
It would be the last time this mother spoke to her son.
“It’s really hard, like somedays, I still feel like I'm living in a dream there are days where I don't accept it," says his mother fighting back the tears.
She's speaking out , she says, in hopes other parents won't have to bury their child because they drove when they were too tired.
Her message is simple.
“It will be more important to arrive late and arrive than to not arrive at all," she said.
According to the National Sleep Foundation one in seven licensed drivers ages 16-24 admitted to having nodded off at least once while driving in the past year.
That compares to one in ten of all licensed drivers who confessed to falling asleep during the same period.