Transportation Workers & Car Accidents | Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C.
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Transportation Worker Fatigue: How Their Sleep Affects Your Safety

Written by Jared Staver

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Jared Staver is a Personal Injury Lawyer based in Chicago, Illinois and has been practicing law for over 20 years.

Jared Staver

CATEGORY: Auto Accidents, Boat Accidents, Bus Accidents, Personal Injury, Rideshare Accidents

Whether on the bus, L-train, plane, or taxi, we trust transportation workers to safely get us to our destinations. However, many transit workers report their job performance being hindered by fatigue, which puts passengers and other motorists at risk.

Driver fatigue contributes to many traffic accidents, and public transportation workers are no exception. Learn causes of fatigue in transport workers, the dangers of drowsy driving, and what to do if you’ve been injured in a public transportation accident in Chicago.

Common Causes of Transportation Worker Fatigue

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), 70% of transportation workers experience fatigue on the job—the highest percentage of all safety-critical industries in the study. There are many reasons why a transport worker may feel drowsy, but the most common include:

  • Long shifts
  • Irregular work schedules
  • Sleep loss or low-quality sleep
  • Physical or mental inactivity
  • Sleep disorders, such as sleep apnea or circadian rhythm disorders
  • Working at night
  • Stress
  • Medication side effects

Monotonous tasks like driving or flying can worsen fatigue, making it imperative for CTA operators, airline pilots, and other transportation employees to take breaks between shifts and get adequate sleep.

Transport Worker Fatigue Statistics

According to a poll from the National Sleep Foundation, sleep-deprived transportation workers are three times more likely to report job performance problems than those averaging just 45 minutes more sleep.

Over a fourth of pilots and train operators report that their fatigue affects their job performance at least once per week. These issues are reported to have caused one in five pilots to commit a severe safety error and one in six train operators and truck or bus drivers to experience a “near miss” on the job.

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety estimates that approximately 16-21% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes yearly involve drowsy driving. Unfortunately, over 60 percent of people continue to drive while fatigued, and shift workers, such as those in transportation, are particularly vulnerable.

A mass transit employee might pick up extra shifts to boost their paycheck and juggle family and personal obligations outside of work. It’s no surprise, then, that most don’t get the recommended, seven to nine hours of rest between their shifts. But when a transport worker is lacking sleep, those onboard are lacking safety.

According to the NSC, being awake for 20 hours causes similar impairment levels when driving as a BAC of 0.08—the legal limit in Illinois. While drunk driving and drowsy driving differ in many ways, they are both risky. Fatigued driving leads to slower reaction times, decreased attention, swerving, and even falling asleep behind the wheel. These effects can be devastating for Chicago transport workers, who are required to quickly respond to changing conditions for the safety of their passengers and other drivers on the road.

Chicago Transportation Accidents

Catastrophic accidents involving buses, trucks, and planes can cause serious trauma and harm, not to mention huge financial losses. For these reasons, governments and transportation companies must prioritize eliminating driver fatigue.

If you’ve been involved in a public transportation accident in Chicago, knowing what to do afterward is essential to ensure you recover fully. You may have sustained significant injuries requiring extensive treatment and time off work. Holding the right party accountable for covering your losses can be challenging since transportation companies like CTA are major entities with their own lawyers.

An experienced attorney can go up against even the biggest transit agencies, gathering crucial evidence of your accident and the driver’s sleep deprivation to establish fault. You should retain a lawyer who understands Illinois common carrier liability laws and has handled similar cases as yours.

At Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C., we can help you after any type of Chicago transportation accident, including:

Injured in a Public Transportation Accident? Call Staver Today.

Fatigue in transport workers and the associated car accidents and plane crashes pose a risk to us all. Changing the culture of drowsy driving may not come easy, but for the sake of public safety, we must rise to the challenge and hold companies and drivers accountable. You should not suffer alone if you become the victim of an accident caused by a transportation worker’s negligence. Our lawyers are here to help.

If you’ve been hurt in a drowsy driving crash in Chicago, contact our accident attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. for a free consultation on your case at (312) 236-2900.

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(312) 236-2900
(312) 236-2900
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