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Does night-shift work increase drowsy driving?

The results from a recently released study found that there is a correlation between night-shift work and drowsy driving. The study was down by researchers with Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Sixteen night-shift workers were required to complete certain driving tasks on a closed track.

The researchers compared how workers drove after getting five hours of sleep and how they drove after just getting off of a night shift. Some of the findings included:

-- Thirty-eight percent of those driving after working all night almost had a near-crash. Those who had several hours of sleep did not have any near-crashes.

-- Ocular measures of the drivers who had just completed a night shift were significantly higher than those who had a few hours of sleep.

-- Seven of the drives that were done after ending a night shift had to be discontinued because the driver was not able to keep the control of the vehicle.

-- The near-crash events and discontinued drives occurred 45 minutes or more after starting the drive for those who worked a night shift.

The longer the drive duration, the higher the risk of near-crashes for those who work night shifts. The researchers said that those who work night shifts should limit the duration of their drives after working and stop driving when they become drowsy.

If you have been injured or a loved one has been killed in an accident involving a drowsy driver, you may have a right to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, final expenses and more. An attorney can help you determine how to proceed against the person or persons responsible for the accident.

Source: journalistsresource.org, "Drowsy driving and car crashes: How night-shift work contributes to traffic dangers," June 28, 2016

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