Lack of sleep and inability to concentrate can have a significant impact on the ability of individuals to work efficiently. Not only can it lead to injuries, but it can also be life-threatening – especially for bus drivers, transportation workers and employees commuting to their night shift workplace. Even though there is 60 percent less traffic at night, 40 percent of all vehicle crashes happen at night. Many accidents are due to the disruption caused by circadian rhythm, where our body responds to sleep at night.
Injuries caused to employees while working on night shifts are covered by the Workers’ Compensation Act. However, compensation is exempt in instances of driving under influence, causing injury while speeding, and irresponsible behavior. Claiming compensation will require evidence gathering and filing a compensation form, which a competent personal injury and worker’ compensation attorney can help with.
The Primary Reason for Auto-Accidents
Working overnight can have a significant impact on an individual’s sleep pattern. If a person is sleep-deprived, the following causes can lead to an auto accident:
- If a driver has compromised night vision, they are more susceptible to an auto accident.
- As National Safety Council (NSC) highlights, 60 percent of all adults drive when sleepy, while more than 103 million have been found sleeping at the wheel. Drowsy driving or driving under fatigue has led to more than 100,000 annual crashes.
- If a driver is impaired and has been using drug or alcohol, the driver has a high chance of being involved in an accident between midnight and 3 a.m.
- Asking drivers to make delivers or transport goods under short deadlines.
Considering the high number of accidents that happen at night, it is important to provide shift workers with policy manuals and training to help manage their routine. Some ways to limit auto accidents for 3rd shift workers include:
- Limit the number of night shifts or provide regular day-offs, if applicable,
- Avoid hiring night shift employees that have a long commute,
- Ensure your workplace is brightly lit,
- Ensure vehicles used by night shift workers have working headlights and is free from mechanical issues,
- Drivers should clean their windshield, wear glasses if required, and dim their dashboards,
- Limit the use of caffeine at the start of your shift to avoid trouble sleeping at home,
- Make regular sleep and wake up schedules,
- Refer to a physician if symptoms of severe headache, insomnia, lack of energy is observed.
If you wish to find out more about auto-accidents at night and unusual injuries in Illinois, schedule a free consultation by contacting the offices of Robert Edens at (847) 395-2200 to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer.