Jim Berkowitz was just 24 years old when he was killed in a fall asleep crash in 1984. He was in his second year of law school at Wake Forest University in North Carolina.
Jim had driven up to Washington, D.C. in the middle of the fall semester for summer job interviews. Jim set out on the roughly 6-hour trip back to school on a Monday evening in late October, just after the week-end of the fall clock change.
Studies of fall asleep crashes have found that traveling just after the fall clock change greatly enhances the risk of a crash, and Jim was a victim of such a crash.
Jim was a careful driver and all the evidence from his car accident pointed to his falling asleep as the cause. What happened to him could have happened to anyone.
Jim accomplished much in his short life. He loved school, sports, and had many relatives and friends that loved him. In Jim’s memory, the Berkowitz family has established the Jim B Legacy Fund for Driving Safety, to help make young drivers aware of the dangers of drowsy driving. Jim’s sister Marian has worked for over a decade with injury prevention experts in Massachusetts to increase public awareness of this issue, and she was a key resource in the 2008 report on Drowsy Driving to the state Legislature.
Thanks to the Berkowitz family, The Safety Institute will be able to advance research and enhance awareness of drowsy driving as a serious public health and safety issue.
To help prevent Drowsy Driving injuries, please make checks payable to The Safety Institute, and write “Jim B” in the memo line.