Drowsy driving, or driving while tired, is a major issue for motorists in the United States. Drowsiness can affect a person’s ability to pay attention to the road, reaction times, and can also affect decision making. According to the CDC, an estimated 1 out of 25 drivers aged 18 or older have reported falling asleep while driving in the past 30 days. The National Highway Traffic Administration has estimated that 72,000 crashes were caused by drowsy driving in 2013. This led to 44,000 injuries and 800 deaths. The agency admits that these numbers may be underestimated and as many as 6,000 deaths per year may be caused by drowsy driving.
The Atlanta Journal and Constitution reports that the teen driver who killed Auburn announcer Rod Bramblett and his wife admitted to falling asleep at the wheel.
Although Auburn police have ruled out the use of a phone and alcohol as factors in the crash, the teen allegedly told police that he fell asleep at the wheel. It is unclear how fast the teen was going at the time of the accident.
The accident, which happened on May 25th, occurred approximately a mile from Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium just after 6 p.m. The teen’s vehicle struck the Bramblett vehicle from behind, pushing them through an intersection and across traffic.
52-year-old Rod Bramblett died from a head injury. His wife, 53-year-old Paula Bramblett, died from internal injuries.
Bramblett had been announcing for Auburn Baseball since 1993. In 2003, he began announcing for the university’s football and basketball teams. He is a three-time winner of Alabama’s Sportscaster of the Year. In 2013, Sports Illustrated named Bramblett broadcaster of the year.
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