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Night shift workers at increased risk of car accidents

Night shift workers in North Carolina and across the country are more likely to get into car crashes, according to a study. The research was conducted by scientists at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston.

For the study, BWH researchers had 16 night shift workers complete two driving tests on a closed track. The first test was conducted after the workers had gotten at least 7.6 hours of sleep the prior night and not worked a night shift. The second test was conducted after the workers had completed a night shift. Both tests measured the drowsiness and driving performance of the study participants.

Researchers found that 37.5 percent of drivers who participated in the study came close to crashing their vehicle when driving after a night shift. Most of the workers also displayed increased drowsiness and poor driving performance. One-third of all post-night shift driving tests came to an end after the driver was forced to slam on the brakes in an emergency stop. Fifty percent of the tests concluded when the study participant lost control of their vehicle. According to the study, more than 9.5 million people work night or rotating shifts in the U.S. In order to reduce the chances of drowsy driving, experts recommend that night shift workers maintain a healthy lifestyle and carefully control their sleep schedule.

Some victims of car accidents that were caused by the negligence of another driver might find it advisable to file a personal injury lawsuit in order to obtain compensation for their losses. Possible damages sought in such a lawsuit include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, psychological anguish and property loss. Injured victims could have their case assessed by contacting a personal injury lawyer.

Source: Medical Daily, "Night Shift Workers Are At An Increased Risk For Car Crashes, Even During Daytime Commute", Justin Caba, Dec. 21, 2015

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