American society is a 24/7 world. Many people stay up late at night, and many work the night shift. A recent estimate says that there are 9.5 million night shift workers in the U.S. today. But are you aware of the dangers of working the night shift and driving? Recent studies suggest that people who work long shifts at night can constitute a serious risk to public safety.
The problem is that driving home while fatigued can lead to serious and even fatal motor vehicle accidents. People who do not get seven to nine hours of sleep per night are more likely to be involved in serious car accidents.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety finds that 18% of US adults get less than seven hours of sleep each night. And worse, 12% report that they get less than five hours per night. The same organization also conducted clinical studies that determined that people who get less than seven hours of sleep per night have higher crash risks:
- Workers who slept 6-7 hours had 1.3 times greater risk of an accident.
- Workers who slept 5-6 hours had 1.9 times risk of an accident.
- Workers who slept 4-5 hours had 4.3 times the risk of an accident.
Further, workers who sleep less than two hours in a 24-hour period should not be driving a motor vehicle at all. And those who sleep less than four or five hours per night are much more likely to be impaired while driving.
The Mann Law Firm has won substantial settlements and judgments for the victims of distracted and fatigued drivers. If you have suffered a personal injury from a fatigued driver, call us at (478) 742-3381.
Be Aware of the Signs of Fatigued Driving
The CDC warns that we should be aware of these signs of drowsy driving:
- Blinking or yawning regularly behind the wheel
- Difficulty remembering the last few miles driven
- Missing the exit
- Drifting into another lane
- Running over the rumble strip on the side of the road.
If you experience any of these warning signs after your night shift, you should either pull over or switch drivers. Remember that turning on the radio or opening the window will not help to keep you awake.
How to Avoid Drowsy Driving
Night-shift workers will always have challenges to staying awake after their shift. But try the following tips:
- Do not take any medications that make you sleepy before you start to drive.
- Talk to your doctor about medications that you can take to help you stay awake during and after your shift.
- Try to use a sleeping schedule that makes it easier for your body to know when it is time to rest.
- Get enough sleep! Even if you work at night, you should make sure that you are getting at least seven hours of sleep in a 24-hour period.
Remember – Drowsy Driving Can Be Deadly Driving
Approximately 21% of fatal motor vehicle wrecks involve driver fatigue. Don’t let this happen to you. There are severe criminal penalties for injuring or killing another person on the road. Plus, you can be held liable for damages in a personal injury lawsuit. No matter when you work, you have an obligation to drive safely. Get enough rest so that you can get home safely.
Hurt by a Tired Driver? Contact the Mann Law Firm.
Distracted and fatigued driving is becoming a menace to public safety in Middle Georgia. If you were injured in a car accident by a negligent driver, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Please contact our Middle Georgia offices today at (478) 742-3381. Or, use our online form to set up a free consultation about your personal injury case.