Former Monroe Township High School graduate Nick Currin crashed his car into a telephone pole after falling asleep while driving at 3 a.m on Thursday, December 8 in Jackson, New Jersey.
After coming in contact with the pole, Currin woke up and reacted by applying the brakes as a knee-jerk reaction.
The front of the car was left with a deep and unrepairable dent.
Senior Thomas Fasano witnessed the damage and said, “He was lucky he didn’t get himself injured, and woke himself up just in time to step on the brakes before the pole went through his whole car.”
Since the passenger side of the car was damaged, Currin came out uninjured.
Statistics show that an estimated one in 25 adult drivers aged 18 years or older report having fallen asleep while driving in the previous 30 days.
Drowsy driving is the dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue, which usually occurs when the driver did not get enough sleep, and/or takes long shifts due to work.
Surveys show that most teens are getting less than eight hours of sleep on school nights. Some sleep for only five or six hours before starting another school day, which means that the average student misses about one to three hours of sleep on school nights, leading to a weekly sleep deprivation of five to 15 hours.
Currin’s crash was due to his lack of sleep the night before the crash, which lead him to fall asleep on the wheel.
Sophomore Deeksha Reddy says, “I don’t find it surprising to hear that this accident happened due to drowsy driving, especially for a teen.”
According to the Centers of Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC), teens are more likely than older drivers to underestimate dangerous situations or not be able to recognize hazardous situations, which could lead to serious crashes.
Many teens are not made aware of how they should react and prevent these situations; therefore, the CDC aims to reduce these type of accidents by recommending proper sleeping habits such as maintaining a daily routine of staying alert and planning a schedule ahead of time.
Before hitting the road, drivers should plan to drive long trips with a companion. Passengers can help look for early warning signs of fatigue or switch drivers when needed. Passengers should stay awake to talk to the driver.
Drivers should obtain at least six hours of sleep and follow the recommendations listed above to ensure the reduction of these types of accidents.