We trust our transportation workers to get us safely from place to place, whether we’re going on a short bus ride to work or on a transatlantic flight. Despite the great responsibility that bus and taxi drivers, pilots and train conductors have to keep us safe while doing their job, a 2012 study by the National Sleep Foundation reveals that about one-fourth of these professionals’ performance is hindered by serious fatigue. While this sleep deficiency is caused in great part by the irregular work schedules and odd hours required by their jobs, transportation worker fatigue makes their work less safe.
According to the National Sleep Foundation, sleep-deprived transportation workers are three times more likely to report job performance problems than workers averaging just 45 minutes more sleep. In fact, 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 serious safety error and one in six train operators and truck or bus drivers to experience a “near miss” on the job.
While fatigue clearly contributes to near misses and safety errors, how often does drowsiness actually cause car accidents? Data from around the world indicates that around 20 percent of all motor vehicle accidents are caused by drowsy driving. Pilot fatigue contributes to around the same percentage of plane crashes caused by human error. When you consider the levels of fatigue regularly experienced by these transport workers, it is chilling.
People experiencing serious fatigue can lose up to 80 percent of their attention capabilities and 70 percent of their responsiveness. For transport workers who are required to quickly respond to changing conditions for the safety of their passengers or other drivers on the road, this can be devastating. 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 make eliminating driver fatigue a priority.
Changing the culture of sleeplessness surrounding transportation workers may not come easy, but for the sake of public safety, we must rise to the challenge. Fatigue in transport workers and the associated car accidents and plane crashes pose a risk to us all. While this transition may take time, you should not suffer alone if you become the victim of an accident caused by a transportation worker’s negligence. If you get hurt, call our Chicago accident attorneys at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. for a free consultation on your case at (312) 236-2900. We may be able to help you recover the damages you deserve so that you can get back to your regular life faster.