‘Don’t Drive Drowsy’ sign dedicated in memory of Germantown teen

‘Don’t Drive Drowsy’ sign dedicated in memory of Germantown teen

GERMANTOWN, Tenn. (WMC) - Drivers may see new signs popping up around the city of Germantown.

A family that knows the effects drowsy driving first-hand is raising awareness with signs that say “Don’t Drive Drowsy.”

In 2002, Kathi Wright lost her nephew Kyle Kiihnl to a drowsy driver. Kiihnl was 17, attending Houston High School.

For the last eight years, Wright and other family members have been working with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office and State Farm, to travel the state and educate others about drowsy driving.

“We want to save a million lives. We want to see Tennessee be the first state to have a reduction in drowsy driving crashes,” Wright said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that about 100,000 reported crashes involve drowsy driving, which result in more than 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries nationwide.

Tennessee Governor Bill Lee proclaimed November as Drowsy Driving Awareness Month. This month, eight of the “Don’t Drive Drowsy” signs will go up around Germantown in memory of Kiihnl.

“We have them placed strategically at our two local high schools,” Germantown Mayor Mike Palazzolo, said. “The one out in front of city hall gets about 75,000-80,000 cars a day, so it will good visibility.”

The CDC lists some of the signs of drowsy driving as yawning or blinking frequently, drifting from your lane, or not remembering the last few miles driven.

Wright said at that point it is best to get off the road.

“Your life or someone else’s life is much more important than for you to be on time,” she said.

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