ODENVILLE, Ala. (WIAT) — An Odenville Police officer had a brush with disaster after another driver fell asleep at the wheel and moved into the officer’s lane.
The officer had to move off the road to avoid a head-on collision. and now the police department is sharing that dash camera video hoping it brings more awareness about the dangers of drowsy driving.
“I was pretty shocked and surprised and the first thing I told him was good job staying alert to what his surroundings were,” said Adam Pardue, Odenville Police Chief. “He really did do a good job to keep an accident from happening.”
Fortunately, no one was hurt, but Pardue says the situation could have turned out very differently.
“Ten minutes before, that traffic was bumper-to-bumper, teenagers, mom taking their kids to school,” Pardue said.
The person driving was ticketed and admitted to being drowsy, falling asleep behind the wheel.
“I think when you watch the video you can see how quickly something like that can happen. It really makes you think, ‘I really need to stop and pay attention’,’ Pardue said. “That video just goes to show, even looking down to change the radio station, if he had been looking down to change the radio station, he would have been hit head on.”
A study from AAA showed that 21 percent of fatal crashes are linked to drowsy driving, putting it on par with drunken driving when it comes to dangerous behaviors behind the wheel. Experts say, if you’re feeling sleepy on the road, don’t take chances. Pull over and get another ride home.