Black Friday leaves shoppers exhausted behind the wheel - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Black Friday leaves shoppers exhausted behind the wheel

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UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) -

A Clover teenager died early Friday morning after North Carolina State Troopers say he fell asleep behind the wheel while driving home from Black Friday shopping.

This wasn't the only accident of its kind around the country, as law officials blamed fatigue for some traffic accidents on Black Friday.

Now some retail experts say this trend may continue to rise as retailers fight to attract more customers on Black Friday.

Camping out all night and waiting in long lines for Black Friday deals is an annual tradition for some, but North Carolina State Troopers are saying that may have cost 19-year-old Patrick Boyd his life.

Troopers say the teen lost control of his vehicle on South Point Road in Belmont when he and his four passengers fell asleep after a night out of shopping at Concord Mills.

"It looks like he became drowsy and fell asleep. There was no indication of brakes or skid marks on the road which leads us to believe he fell asleep and ran off the left side of the road," said Master Trooper John Burgin.

Boyd's car ran into a nearby gas station sign, killing the teen and injuring the other passengers.

The questions now being asked, are Black Friday deals worth the potential danger and will this lead retailers rethink holiday store hours?

With more retailers opening earlier on Thanksgiving to attract Black Friday customers, WBTV spoke with a retail expert at Johnson C. Smith University who says this trend isn't going away anytime soon.

"As long as you have one large retailer who does open, most other retailers will try to follow because they don't want to miss out on the sales that take place," said Johnson C. Smith University Instructor of Marketing and Retail Management Yvette Russell.

"Since retailers have the mindset of maximizing profit, it's become difficult to stop what has become a slippery slope," she continued.

Troopers are now giving tips if you feel fatigued while driving.

"The very first time you feel drowsy you need to do something. Roll down the window, turn the air conditioner on, turn the heat off, turn the radio up, start talking to your passengers, wake them up. Do something to make sure you keep yourself awake," said Master Trooper Burgin.

Burgin also recommends that drivers get plenty of rest before making long road trips to avoid fatigue and drowsiness while behind the wheel.

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