Nov. 19, 2006 is a day that can without end be etched within the thoughts of Shelia Faulkner, who misplaced her son Wendall G. Williams in a tragic accident.
On the time, Williams was solely 28 years outdated when he was killed in a horrific automotive crash as a passenger on an early Sunday morning. In line with police experiences, the driving force of a inexperienced 2001 Nissan Altima was sober however evidently had gone with out sleep between 22 and 30 hours. The driving force fell asleep on the wheel because the automobile ran right into a pole at a neighborhood railroad crossing. It has now been 15 years because the incident occurred, and the driving force has but to obtain a single quotation for the actions.
“Wendall was the sweetest, kindest person you’d ever want to meet. He had a big heart and would do anything for anybody. He was very humble,” Faulkner mentioned.
Faulkner reached out to the Alabama State Legislature, who first proclaimed Nov. 19 as Drowsy Driver Consciousness Day. This yr will mark 5 years since that proclamation was handed in 2016. She has sought justice for her son on quite a few events.
“This needs to be brought to attention, and something needs to be done about it. Things need to be changed, and new laws need to be made,” she mentioned.
In line with the proclamation, the Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration estimates that 100,000 police-reported automobile crashes happen per yr leading to roughly 1,550 fatalities and 71,000 accidents. Most are attributed to the price of driver fatigue.
A ballot by the Nationwide Sleep Basis discovered that 60 % of all adults surveyed admitted driving a motorcar whereas drowsy. 37 % of the identical adults reported falling asleep on the wheel whereas driving. Between 2013 and 2017, greater than 4,000 folks have been killed in automotive crashes through which drivers fell asleep or have been too sleepy to securely function a automobile.
“I want to make the public aware of this situation because it is a very serious thing. There are now road signs on interstates and near rest stops instructing citizens to pull over if they feel drowsy,” Faulkner mentioned. “My son was a victim of something that was beyond his control.”
The proclamation additionally acknowledged that Alabama has no roadside take a look at for an individual to finish or for regulation enforcement to manage to find out whether or not a driver is just too drained to drive. It goes on to learn that many crashes attributed to alcohol or different causes may very well be the results of a sleepy driver.
“People should be responsible for their actions. When you get behind the wheel, you’re responsible for having a license, insurance, and accountable for all the people in the vehicle with you,” Faulkner mentioned.
Each the Victims of Crime and Leniency (VOCAL) and the Visitors Security Useful resource Prosecutor Program coordinate their efforts to extend the general public’s consciousness of the risks offered by drowsy driving.
Nov. 19 was designated as Drowsy Driver Consciousness Day in Alabama as a unbroken memorial to the various different family members who’ve suffered the identical destiny.
The proclamation provides that it additionally serves as an annual reminder of the tragic penalties of fatigued driving. It closes with a press release saying, “In observance of the day, the public shall be educated on the danger of driving drowsy and the many ways of preventing vehicular crashes related to drowsy driving in the future shall be emphasized.”
For extra info name Shelia Faulkner at 334-343-1197. “I miss him and think about him every day. Nothing is ever the same, but he is not forgotten. I put up my Christmas tree every year and try to do things good in order to feel closer to him,” she mentioned.