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Kyle W Kiihnl Memorial Foundation

Kyle W Kiihnl Memorial Foundation


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The GHSA (GOVERNORS highway safety association) has RECOGNIZED the KyLE W Kiihnl memorial foundation as a victim advocate, working in TN as a critical partner in helping to educate the public about the danger and consequences of drowsy driving.

View the pdf for details on page 43.


  • Difficulty focusing, frequent blinking, or heavy eyelids.

  • Daydreaming; wandering/disconnected thoughts.
  • Trouble remembering the last few miles driven; missing exits or traffic signs.
  • Yawning repeatedly or rubbing your eyes.
  • Trouble keeping your head up.
  • Drifting from your lane, tailgating, or hitting a shoulder rumble strip.
  • Feeling restless and irritable.

Preventing Drowsy Driving

  • Get off the road if you experience any warning signs.

  • Get out and exercise until you feel alert.
  • If possible, find a safe place to take a nap after consuming 2 cups of coffee or a caffeine drink.
  • Drive with a friend. A passenger needs to remain awake to watch for signs of fatigue and take a turn driving.


Our family hadn’t either until May 5, 2002. That night Kyle lost his life to a driver that fell asleep at the wheel. What a tragedy. For both families. Kyle was just a few minutes from home walking around the block with a friend. The driver was just a few miles from his home. If only things had turned off differently. If only.

Take a minute. Talk to the drivers in your family. Tell them to call a friend or family member if they feel too tired to get behind the wheel. Talk to yourself, too. Have you ever driven knowing that you were really tired? I know I have. What if I would have hurt or killed someone? I would never get over that, just like the 17 year old that took away our only son, only brother, only grandson, only nephew, cousin, and best friend…

Think about it. Make a plan for what you will do if you’re ever too tired to drive. Believe me, it’s worth thinking about.
According to the National Sleep Foundation:

  1. 37 percent or 103 million drivers admit falling asleep at the wheel.
  2. Sixty percent of drivers say they've driven while drowsy. 
  3. Driver fatigue accounts for an estimated 100,000 crashes each year.

Our Mission

While our focus is on younger drivers, we have also made an effort to educate seasoned drivers. The foundation has hosted community meetings where we discuss drowsy driving signs, symptoms and the consequences.

We are currently working with the Tennessee Department of Highway Safety to display the Don’t Drive Drowsy message on Tennessee interstate overhead message boards. In August of 2012, the Don’t Drive Drowsy message was run on the in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville. After the initial rotation, the Please Don’t Drive Drowsy message will go into rotation with other Tennessee safety messages.

See article in the Memphis Commercial Appeal or WISTV video and write-up.

Through our efforts, the Please Don’t Drive Drowsy message played on the TN Highway Advisory Radio channel in the same urban areas.

In August of 2012, we were invited to place our Drowsy Driving Information card in all Tennessee Welcome centers. That was huge plus for the foundation, getting the message out to even more drivers. Drowsy driving is now recognized as the killer it is, not just as a consequence of busy, hurried lives. No life should ever be lost to a drowsy driver.

We urge you, the driver, to take a minute and think before getting behind the wheel.  Please print out a copy of the warning signs of drowsy driving and put it in your car.

According to the National Sleep Foundation’s Sleep in America poll, 60% of Americans drove while feeling sleepy and 37% admit to actually falling asleep at the wheel in the past year. 

PLEASE DON'T DRIVE DROWSY!   take the pledge.