Unfortunately, according to
Car and Driver, night shift workers who run on a lack of sleep are 300% more likely to be involved in a car crash compared to people who work regular shifts. You might feel like there’s no other way but to drive while you’re drowsy, but there are definitely alternatives. It’s not worth the risk to drive when you’re impaired by lack of sleep.
Why are night shift workers more likely to get into car crashes?
Night shift workers are more likely to develop shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) which means lower levels of driver awareness and increased chances of being in a crash. As reported by Car and Driver, Cleveland Clinic says that 10% to 40% of the full-time workforce in the U.S. may suffer from the sleep disorder. That’s around 2.5 million people on the low end.
SWSD leads to serious issues with falling and staying asleep. People with SWSD are three times more likely to crash than people without. Not only do you put yourself at risk if you’re driving while you’re drowsy, you can also harm the drivers around you.
If you work overnight shifts often, you might think that you’re able to pay full attention on the road. Even if there are no laws against drowsy driving, you should try to minimize your risks to protect yourself and others.
Why is drowsy driving dangerous?
Sleep apnea, insomnia, and other sleeping problems were also mentioned in Car and Driver as issues that lead to an increased risk of crashes. 91,000 of reported crashes involved drowsy drivers in 2017 based on data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. This includes close to 800 deaths.
Drowsy driving might just lead to a near crash or minor injuries, but there are certainly potentially fatal consequences. The clear link between drowsy driving and increased risk of crashing means that you might see new safety technology in cars that addresses these issues.
Drowsy driving is dangerous to your health and will lead to
increased insurance costsif you’re involved in an accident.
How can you reduce your driving risk?
There are simple things you can do to reduce your driving risk if you have a sleep disorder. It’s no surprise that it involves getting more rest and not driving when you’re drowsy. You might want to choose other methods of transportation like taking a taxi, rideshare, or public transit.
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