Our Focus Is Defending
Your Rights

  1. Home
  2.  → 
  3. Car Accidents
  4.  → How can third-shift work contribute to a risk of car wrecks?

How can third-shift work contribute to a risk of car wrecks?

On Behalf of | Mar 28, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Working overnight is a fact of life for many people, including medical professionals, gas station attendants and others. For those individuals, abnormal sleep patterns are common. While some may joke about this reality, those different sleep patterns may lead to a greater risk of car wrecks.

Understanding why working third-shift hours is so unsafe may inspire third-shift workers to take steps to increase safety on the road. It may also benefit victims of any crashes that do occur, as they take steps to seek compensation for the damages related to a wreck.

Disrupted sleep patterns and fatigue

The natural circadian rhythm of humans dictates a sleep-wake cycle that aligns with daytime activity and nighttime rest. Third-shift workers face the daunting challenge of reversing this natural order, which leads to disrupted sleep patterns and chronic fatigue. This misalignment can severely impair alertness and reaction times, both critical for safe driving. After a long night’s work, the drive home becomes a risky endeavor as the worker fights the body’s overwhelming desire for sleep.

The dangers of shift work sleep disorder (SWSD)

Shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) elevates the risks associated with night shift work to a new level. This condition, characterized by insomnia when trying to sleep and excessive sleepiness while awake, significantly affects a worker’s life. Studies have shown that individuals with SWSD are 300% more likely to experience a motor vehicle crash or a near-miss incident compared to those without sleep disorders. This stark statistic underscores the need for awareness and intervention to prevent such dangerous outcomes.

The dangers of SWSD are exacerbated by conditions on the roadways when these workers are on the road. They’re likely to go to work when it’s dark and go home in the early morning hours. This means they may face nighttime driving dangers before work and heavy traffic when they’re exhausted from their shift.

Victims of fatigued driving crashes may suffer catastrophic injuries that require medical care. Those victims may opt to pursue a compensation claim from the fatigued driver in question, and they should strongly consider seeking the assistance of a legal representative who can help them build their case against accordingly.