AAA warns of "drowsy driving" during holidays

10 months 3 weeks 3 days ago Sunday, December 25 2016 Dec 25, 2016 Sunday, December 25, 2016 4:47:00 PM CST December 25, 2016 in News
By: Hannah Husmann, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Russ Burris was a normal high school graduate, until he wasn't. 

Now, 26 and a half years later, Burris is in a wheelchair all because he didn't get enough sleep.

"Driving home, which I don't remember thinking about the drive, I fell asleep. Crossed the center line, hit a driveway embankment, flipped my car not wearing a seatbelt, was ejected through the sun roof, landed on the highway and was paralyzed from the chest down instantly," Burris said. 

Burris is a transportation coordinator for MU Health Care ambulance services, and uses his story as a way to spread the word on drowsy driving and when to know to pull over.

"I actually fell asleep and crashed 90 seconds from my destination. That's why I didn't stop. I knew I could stay awake for one more mile," Burris said.

The American Automobile Association came out with a new study in early December that echoes Burris' warnings.

According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, 35 percent of Americans get less than the recommended seven hours of sleep. And if a driver misses just one or two of those hours, their chance for crashing nearly doubles. Missing two to three hours quadruples the risk.

"You can have micro sleep or sleep attacks when you're driving if you're sleep deprived. On a highway at a speed of 60 or 70, that few seconds can lead to a crash and it can be detrimental," MU Health Neurologist Munish Goyal said.

The study also says drivers who get less than five hours of sleep have a crash risk similar to driving over the legal limit for alcohol. Goyal said alcohol can have a bigger impact than people think on their level of tiredness. 

"During the holidays, people think 'Eh, a couple of drinks don't matter' but that can add up to sleep deprivation," Goyal said.

With the holidays coming up, people work longer hours and have busier schedules, and often sleep is sacrificed in the process. Burris said sleep should be a priority, especially with so many distractions surrounding the end of the year. 

"What is so important that is worth taking another human life? To drive one more mile? To get in that extra three or four hours at work where you should be taking a nap instead?" Burris said.

Although Burris uses his story to inform others, he still knows its a hard lesson to learn. 

"I wasn't the lucky one who walked away from it. I had to learn the hard way."

For more statistics on drowsy driving, visit the AAA website.

 

 

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - A video surfaced from Thornbrook Ridge in southwest Columbia showing an individual stealing packages from the doorsteps of... More >>
24 minutes ago Sunday, November 19 2017 Nov 19, 2017 Sunday, November 19, 2017 8:00:00 PM CST November 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The 38th Annual Holiday Parade kicked off with sirens as police cars took the lead. The parade... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, November 19 2017 Nov 19, 2017 Sunday, November 19, 2017 6:09:00 PM CST November 19, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two students who studied at Washington University in St. Louis have been selected as Rhodes scholars.... More >>
3 hours ago Sunday, November 19 2017 Nov 19, 2017 Sunday, November 19, 2017 5:21:34 PM CST November 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A 29-year-old man was in serious condition Sunday afternoon at University Hospital following a shooting Sunday morning. Columbia... More >>
4 hours ago Sunday, November 19 2017 Nov 19, 2017 Sunday, November 19, 2017 4:12:00 PM CST November 19, 2017 in News
NIXA (AP) — A city in southwest Missouri has opened the largest solar farm in the state. The Springfield... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, November 19 2017 Nov 19, 2017 Sunday, November 19, 2017 12:34:00 PM CST November 19, 2017 in News
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Drew Lock threw three touchdown passes and Missouri won its fifth straight game to become bowl... More >>
13 hours ago Sunday, November 19 2017 Nov 19, 2017 Sunday, November 19, 2017 7:07:00 AM CST November 19, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - A suspect struck a victim, and suspects fired multiple rounds, brandished at least one firearm and took property... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 11:45:00 PM CST November 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – While in Chad, Haby Naya learned how to braid hair by doing her friend’s, sister’s and even her... More >>
20 hours ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 11:25:00 PM CST November 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - If experience is important for success in sports, basketball players worldwide have much to learn from the Granny... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 10:53:00 PM CST November 18, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nonprofit group behind the long-delayed streetcar set to operate in St. Louis' Loop area and... More >>
23 hours ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 8:41:00 PM CST November 18, 2017 in News
BOONE COUNTY - A 19-year-old college freshman was driving home for Thanksgiving break Saturday when a tire on his car... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 7:15:00 PM CST November 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Dozens of people came out Saturday for the eighth annual Fall Into Art show at Parkade Plaza. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 5:19:00 PM CST November 18, 2017 in News
HARRISBURG - A warm bed, a hot meal, and hugs from a loving family member are common enough memories for... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 3:00:00 PM CST November 18, 2017 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - Two Osage Beach residents were pronounced dead early Saturday morning following a single-car crash late Friday night.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 2:54:00 PM CST November 18, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Macon man and two others were hospitalized Saturday morning in one of two crashes that occurred... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 2:24:00 PM CST November 18, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA – New blood pressure guidelines mean nearly half of adults in the U.S. that did not have high blood... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 2:12:00 PM CST November 18, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Officials are testing for asbestos among the debris left from a massive St. Louis warehouse fire.... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 1:17:00 PM CST November 18, 2017 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri prosecutor will not file criminal charges against a Southwest Airlines pilot arrested after Transportation... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, November 18 2017 Nov 18, 2017 Saturday, November 18, 2017 1:07:54 PM CST November 18, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 34°
9pm 36°
10pm 35°
11pm 37°
12am 38°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:20p
Sunday Night Football
10:30p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
11:05p
Sports Extra with Chris Gervino
7:00p
The Face of an Angel
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
7:00p
The Face of an Angel
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Family Guy