In Connecticut, not everyone works a job in which they are on a regular morning to evening schedule. Shift work is common in many industries and for some, they are required to work various and unpredictable hours – even overnight. There are challenges with this type of work schedule and one is the unusual sleep patterns. It can even cause danger on the road.
Specific sleep disorder is linked to shift work
A study by University of Missouri researchers set out to analyze if people who worked on night shifts had a greater propensity for auto accidents than others. According to the analysis, these workers are prone to a condition called shift work sleep disorder (SWSD) making them more vulnerable to a collision. The Cleveland Clinic says that approximately 20% of full-time employees across the United States need to work in shifts. About 10 to 40% could have SWSD. Even if the number is minimized, that is still 2.5 million people.
Those who have SWSD have a 300% greater chance to have a crash or to come close to having one. Sleep issues not linked to shift work like insomnia or sleep apnea result in a 30% higher possibility of an accident. Any deviation in conventional sleep patterns can have an impact on their driving abilities. After an auto accident, it is important to consider all the potential causes, including SWSD for shift workers when weighing the available options.
After an accident, having assistance to determine a path forward is key
People understand drowsy driving is dangerous, but they might not realize that there are certain disorders like SWSD associated with it. A person who works normal hours and is heading to work in the morning or home in the evening could have their entire world changed because of a crash with a shift worker. A full investigation must be conducted by those experienced in these situations to determine how the collision happened.