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Research Links Night Shift Workers to Car Accidents

While research has previously shown that working night shifts can increase a person’s risk of developing type II diabetes and heart disease, recent findings indicate that graveyard shifts can also increase a person’s risk of being involved in a car accident. According to studies performed at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the disrupted sleep schedule caused by night work can decrease a person’s alertness behind the wheel and increase their risk of involvement in a drowsy-driving collision.

The study measured the driving abilities of 16 different participants the morning after working a night shift. Using EEG measurements and observations of micro-sleep episodes, the results indicated that 37.5 percent of the drivers were involved in a near-crash event during their sessions, with nearly one third of all sessions ending with emergency braking maneuvers and half of the sessions ending after the driver nearly lost control of their vehicle. A majority of the participants displayed sleep-impaired driving tendencies within 15 minutes of getting behind the wheel.

According to Dr. Michael L. Lee from the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, the impairment of the participating drivers was comparable to that of a person driving under the influence of alcohol, further confirming that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving.

Injured in a Car Accident? Call (985) 796-2245

If you should ever be injured in a car accident caused by a fatigued driver, an experienced Tangipahoa Parish car accident attorney from Anderson & Boutwell, can protect your rights in court and help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Having recovered more than $50 million in compensation on our clients’ behalf, we have knowledge and skills you need to give you the edge in your pursuit of a fair settlement for your injuries.

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