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A second can change everything in Alabama

In the blink of an eye -- what does that really mean? What are the ramifications of even one second? If an individual is speeding along any of the roads in Huntsville, or elsewhere in Alabama, one second can mean the difference between life and death for the driver, his or her family and other innocent parties.

This might sound like a scare tactic, but in real numbers, every second can be critical. When an Alabama driver is traveling in a motor vehicle at 60 miles per hour, every second means 88 feet of roadway traveled.

This means that if an individual nods off behind the wheel, even for just a few seconds, there will be a significant stretch of roadway in which that drowsy driver is leaving many, including themselves and their passengers, vulnerable to serious injury from a car accident -- possibly even death. It can be difficult to know when a driver is too fatigued to drive, particularly when so many individuals are chronically sleep deprived.

However, if an individual finds that he or she has drifted onto the rumble strips, has trouble keeping their eyes focused or cannot remember the last few miles of driving, these are serious warning signs that an individual is too fatigued to drive. The consequences of drowsy driving are certainly not worth the risk and under some circumstances could be deemed an act of negligence.

Individuals in Alabama that average less than six hours of sleep a night are at the largest risk for causing a wreck due to drowsy driving. According to a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an estimated 4 percent of adults around the country admit to nodding off behind the wheel at least one time within the last month. This percentage may seem small, but even a small percentage of the millions of drivers around the country could translate to a serious death toll. Driving when fatigued is dangerous and could be deadly.

Source: The Boston Globe, "CDC: 1 in 24 admit nodding off while driving," Mike Stobbe, Jan. 3, 2012

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