Driver falls asleep at wheel, crashes on Hwy 508

Story Highlights:
Two injured in Onalaska car accident
Motor vehicle collision caused by falling asleep at the wheel

Date: April 11, 2011, 04/11/2011
Location: Onalaska, Lewis County, Washington
Type: Car accident, Motor vehicle collision
Outcome: Two injured

Two people were injured in an Onalaska car crash after the driver fell asleep at the wheel on Monday night.

A little after 6 p.m. while driving eastbound on Highway 508, 26-year-old Teri E. Lane fell asleep at the wheel, driving her 1998 Chevrolet Cavalier into a ditch, hit a utility pole then rolled, totaling her car.

Lane and her 5-year-old passenger were taken to Providence Centralia Hospital.

According to Washington State Patrol, both were wearing seat belts and Lane was cited for negligent driviner and driving with a suspended license.

Falling Asleep at the Wheel Statistics
The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that approximately 100,000 police-reported crashes annually involve drowsiness and/or fatigue as a principal causal factor. Those crashes result in an estimated 1,500 fatalities and 71,000 injuries each year, and an annual monetary loss of approximately $12.5 billion. More than 10 percent of drivers admit to having fallen asleep at the wheel, while more than 20 percent say they have momentarily dozed while driving, according to the study of 1,024 drivers.

Warning signs to look out for:

  • Continuously yawning, day-dreaming, or wandering in the lane
  • Your reactions unintentionally speeding up or slowing down.
  • Eyes feel stiff or heavy and you find your thoughts are unfocused
  • Your car wanders over the center line or off the edge of the road

Tips to avoid falling asleep at the wheel:


  • Avoiding driver fatigue on long trips. Drivers should give themselves plenty of time to get to their destinations and schedule in regular breaks.
  • For long trips plan in advance so you know where you are going to take a break. Take a break at least every 2 hours.
  • Plan to stay somewhere overnight if you are going on a long journey.
  • Share the driving - and make sure to take rest when you are not driving.
  • Try not to drive when you would normally be asleep (early mornings and late nights.)
  •  Don’t drink and drive. Not only does alcohol severely impair your driving ability, but it also acts as a depressant. Just one drink can induce fatigue.
  • Avoid smoking when you drive.
  • Caffeine provides a quick, but short-lived improvement in alertness. So, to capitalize on its benefits, one should use it only when a boost is needed.
  • Drink water, eat fruit and healthy snacks rather than fatty and sugary food.

Seattle Car Accident Attorneys
If you or a family member has suffered as the result of a car accident, Seattle car accident attorney Chris Davis and the Davis Law Group, P.S. can help you. We understand the devastation that can occur as a result of being in a serious auto accident. We are committed to helping car accident, trucking accident, and motorcycle accident victims recover the just and fair compensation they are entitled to receive under the law.


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