Sleep Deprivation in the Transportation Industry

A recently published study on the professions that see the most sleep deprivation has ranked transportation and material moving among the worst four. This may not be a surprise to long-haul truck drivers in Missouri, most of whom know how widespread and how dangerous it is to drive drowsy.

Overall, the study found that 35.6% of all respondents (composed of 150,000 working adults in the U.S.) claimed to get less than seven hours of sleep in 2018. In 2010, that percentage was 30.9%. Between those two years, truckers saw an increase from 32% to 41%.

The highest percentage of sleep-deprived workers was found in the military and police, with 50% of respondents with these backgrounds reporting poor sleep. This was followed by 45% of health care workers. Also, 41% of individuals in production claimed inadequate sleep. Across all industries, men, older adults, residents of the western United States, multiracial individuals and those who have been divorced or widowed saw the most drastic rise in sleep deprivation.

There are no doubt several factors behind this rise, such as longer work hours and greater workplace stress. The industries mentioned above allow for 24-hour shift work, which can also lead to drowsiness. Another factor is the wider availability of electronic devices that keep their users up at night.

Drowsiness in truckers is dangerous because it leads to truck crashes. Drowsiness impairs one’s judgment, vision and reaction times, among other things. Someone who has been injured at the hands of a negligent trucker may seek compensation from the at-fault trucking company via a personal injury claim. After determining how much one may recover in damages in light of Missouri’s comparative fault laws, the lawyer may help the plaintiff negotiate for a settlement.


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