Family raising awareness on dangers of drowsy driving in Alabama

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WIAT) — Drowsy driving is becoming more and more deadly in Alabama.

Between 2013 and 2017, there were more than 4,000 deaths that occurred due to drivers being sleepy behind the wheel. Shelia Faulkner knows it all too well. In 2006, she lost her son, Wendell Williams, in a car accident she says could have been avoided.

“He had a heart of gold,” Faulkner said. “He was always giving to people, he was always helping people.”

It was later determined that the driver in the accident was drowsy.

“He wasn’t charged,” she said. “He didn’t have any citations.”

Today, Faulkner is an advocate for drowsy driving awareness. She hopes to get legislation passed one day.

“Take a break, slow down,” she said. “Don’t be in a hurry.”

Barry Matson, executive director with the Alabama District Attorneys Association, explained the possible charges in these cases.

“You have reckless driving, if we are able to prove it there are charges for assault,” Matson said. “It is very difficult to prove, that’s why we are focused on prevention and awareness”

Faulkner and her family plan to be at the state House during the upcoming legislative session to continue to push for legislation to penalize drowsy driving.

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