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Night Shift Workers Face Increased Risk of Car Accidents

April 08, 2016

If you work the late night shift, you should use caution when driving home as you are at an increased risk for getting into a car accident, according to a new report. Researchers in Boston found that tired drivers coming off the graveyard shift have a significantly higher risk of getting into an auto accident. Accordingly, night shift workers are encouraged to be aware of the risks and take steps to keep themselves and others safe while driving home.

Night shift workers play a vital role in society, and we at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, want to see them stay safe. Our team of compassionate Atlanta automobile accident attorneys represents injured accident victims across the state. We understand the dangers posed by fatigued driving and offer the following look at a new report into night shift workers along with tips for tired drivers to avoid accidents.

Tired Employees Present Hazards on the Road

Researchers conducted a study involving 16 employees who work the night shift and averaged 7.6 hours of sleep. The team used an electroencephalogram to record the participant's brain activity. During test drives lasting for two hours, six of the participants became so drowsy they almost got into car accidents, while seven stopped driving due to safety reasons. Researchers detected signs of sleep impairment within minutes of the driving session. A control group with adequate rest did not display the same impairments or accident risks.

Researchers noted that the test drives occurred during daylight hours. This report indicates that driving after working all night and not getting adequate rest is dangerous even in the daytime. Tired employees behaved like drunk drivers and posed a similar threat to themselves and others.

Tips for Night Shift Workers

There are some steps night shift workers can take to stay safe while traveling home. First, everyone should be aware of the signs of tired driving. By recognizing that you are too tired to drive, you can take the action necessary to get off the road in time. Signs of overtired driving include, among others:

  • Daydreaming
  • Restlessness or irritability
  • Disconnected thoughts
  • Eyelid closure
  • Frequent blinking
  • Yawning
  • Missing exits
  • Swerving onto sides of the road

You can further reduce your risk of an accident by getting enough rest each and every day. Nighttime workers should ensure they receive at least seven hours, if not longer, during their off-shift time. Companies that employ night shift workers should offer transportation or direct employees towards transportation options that are convenient and affordable. Workers could also consider ride-sharing, as driving with a buddy can help prevent drowsy driving accidents. Moreover, all employees should especially avoid taking medications that could make them drowsy.

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Category: Auto Accidents

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Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.