Why are Night Workers at a Higher Risk of Causing Car Accidents?

June 14, 2021

night workers at risk for car accidents

Driving at night presents more challenges than daytime driving. The most obvious is less visibility. This can play a key role in causing nighttime car accidents.

When drivers cannot see an accident coming or do not see it in time, they have less time to react. This means that a driver may not have time to react by hitting the brakes to slow down. This is why nighttime car accidents may cause more serious personal injury than daytime accidents.

Night workers are especially susceptible to nighttime car accidents. Working long shifts or working overnight can lead to catastrophic consequences when that worker gets behind the wheel. Night shift workers are trying to counteract the body’s natural sleep patterns and may drive when they are not fully alert. When someone suffers injuries in a car accident caused by a night worker, the result can be tragic. Speaking with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible after any accident can help the victim understand their legal options.

Drowsy Driving is Like Drunk Driving

That might sound extreme, but study after study shows that getting less than six hours of sleep for even a single night can reduce a driver’s response time to that of a drunk driver. This is truly terrifying because everyone knows someone who routinely does not sleep well. When that person gets behind the wheel, they could put their lives, the lives of their passengers, and the lives of others at risk.

Night workers may try to sleep during the day to be alert for their job at night. But that is not always possible. Children’s school commitments, package deliveries, social responsibilities, and general life duties may prevent night workers from getting adequate rest. Not only does this create dangerous situations on the job, also it can lead to tragic consequences in a car accident.

Drowsy driving is so dangerous because it reduces the driver’s reaction time. Being alert while driving is one of the most important factors to staying safe on the road. When a driver is impaired, whether from alcohol or sleep deprivation, they may react more slowly to dangerous situations on the road. Fractions of a second can make a difference.

Night Shift Workers Cause More Accidents

In a recent study by the University of Missouri, researchers reviewed real-world data on shift work sleep disorder. This disorder can cause night workers to be less alert all the time. When they drive a car, that can result in an inability to react to dangerous situations quickly and correctly.

People with this disorder are 300 percent more likely to be in a car accident. That is a shocking statistic. Because of someone’s work schedule, they are much more likely to injure themselves and strangers in car accidents. That is why the study recommended that any night workers either rest before driving home or take public transportation.

Drowsy driving causes over 50,000 injuries and nearly 1000 deaths annually across the United States. When a drowsy driver gets behind the wheel, the results can be the same as a drunk person getting behind the wheel: absolutely catastrophic.

Collecting Compensation

When a night worker causes a car accident because they are so tired, drivers and passengers of other vehicles may bear the brunt of the night worker’s poor decision. Car accident victims often face painful recoveries and financial burdens as they attempt to pay for those medical expenses.

Partnering with a skilled lawyer can help the victim’s anxiety, as their legal advocate may try to get them compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost income
  • Lost earning potential
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Present and future medical expenses
  • Rehabilitation costs

Depending on the severity of the injuries suffered, car accident injury victims may require multiple medical procedures and spend lots of time out of work. Both of these facts combine to create a financially troubling situation. The right legal team may be able to help the victim recover maximum compensation so they do not have to worry about how their medical bills and financial obligations are met.

Proving a Driver was Negligent

Proving fault in a car accident is not as simple as one person saying the other driver caused the crash. In fact, it can get challenging, especially when one driver may have been drowsy but did not realize that could be the cause of the accident.

To prove the negligent driver was drowsy and their sleepiness caused the accident, a lawyer may need to work with accident reconstruction experts. These experts can help the injured person’s legal team understand the exact cause of the accident by collecting evidence to show that the night worker was drowsy to the point of being dangerous.

With this evidence, the legal team will try to show the following:

  • The drowsy driver owed a duty of care to other drivers to drive safely and drive only while alert.
  • The drowsy driver breached that duty by driving drowsy.
  • The driver’s drowsiness caused an accident.
  • Another person or people suffered injuries in the accident.

Proving these elements may require an intense investigation above and beyond what police or authorities have already conducted. For the victim to have the best chance at a full and complete recovery, it is vital that they partner with a skilled car accident lawyer who can be their legal advocate, aggressively fighting to collect maximum compensation.

Huntsville Car Accident Lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C., Help Victims Recover

Car accidents can ruin lives. An accident can be a source of great frustration and stress. Victims may have to deal with costly medical expenses and ongoing care. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, reach out to the Huntsville car accident lawyers at Hodges Trial Lawyers, P.C. You may be able to collect compensation to pay for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or other harms. For a free consultation, call us at 256-539-3110 or 888-539-3110, or contact us online. Our Athens and Huntsville, Alabama, offices represent clients throughout North Alabama, including Madison County, Limestone County, Marshall County, Jackson County, Morgan County, and Lauderdale County.