Florida truckers may rank among some of the most sleep-deprived workers in the state. The consequences can be significant not only for the truckers, who may suffer increased risks of serious health effects, but also for everyone else sharing the road as truck driver fatigue is a major contributor to serious trucking accidents. According to one study released by Ball State University, 35.6% of Americans received inadequate nightly sleep, assessed by researchers as seven hours nightly or less. This is a nearly 5% increase from a 2010 study, which showed 30.9% of Americans receiving insufficient nightly sleep.
There are several professions with high levels of insufficient sleep, including health care support workers, police and military officers, production workers, and trucking and transportation workers. While 32% of truckers were sleep-deprived in 2010, 41% reported insufficient sleep in 2018. There are a number of consequences associated with inadequate sleep. People who are sleep-deprived have higher levels of chronic illness, premature death and mental health issues. There are also major safety concerns about truck driver fatigue. Drowsy driving is linked to a number of serious truck accidents. These collisions are far more likely to be deadly or cause serious injuries to people in passenger vehicles, pedestrians or cyclists due to the size and weight of large trucks.
Truckers had common ground with other demographics that showed a sharp upswing in sleep deprivation. Men, older adults and widowed, separated or divorced people were more likely to have inadequate sleep as were multiracial people and those living in the western part of the country. Researchers are investigating the probable causes for the increase in sleep deprivation.
When truck drivers are excessively drowsy, it can lead to fatal mistakes and driver negligence. People who have been injured in a truck accident caused by someone else may consult with a lawyer about their options to pursue compensation.