Over the weekend, Campbell River RCMP received a call reporting a collision due to someone being passed out behind the wheel of their vehicle.
At around 1 p.m. on Saturday, September 16th, a driver noticed an oncoming Toyota van was crossing over the centre line in the 3900-block of the South Island Highway.
Police say the collision could have been much worse had the driver who noticed the van crossing the centre line hadn’t taken evasive action.
Despite his best efforts, the vehicles still struck one another and the van pushed his car into a power pole off the side of the highway.
According to Campbell River RCMP, he was not seriously injured in the collision.
Following the collision, it was discovered that the driver of the van was unconscious behind the wheel.
Paramedics were called to the scene and the driver was awoken. It was then discovered that the driver had a medical condition which caused him to fall asleep while driving.
He too, was found to not have any serious injuries, according to police.
“This was the second incident in a week, where a driver caused an accident due to falling asleep at the wheel,” said Cst. Maury Tyre.
“We cannot stress enough the need for people to ensure that they are fully awake and actually capable of getting behind the wheel. Lack of sleep can create a severe level of impairment that puts lives at risk,” he added.
According to the Canadian Safety Council, 20% of Canadians have admitted to falling asleep at the wheel at least once per year.
Approximately 2,100 collisions every year are caused by drowsy driving and around 400 deaths are the result of people falling asleep while driving.