Truckers among the most sleep-deprived workers in U.S.

A study from Ball State University shows that more and more commercial truck drivers are reporting sleep deprivation. They are not the only ones, but their profession is among those that have been hardest hit. New Jersey residents should know that between 2010 and 2018, the percentage of respondents who said they get less than seven hours of sleep rose from 30.9% to 35.6%.

About 41% of those in the transport and material moving industry experience poor sleep. Those who have been most deeply affected by poor sleep work with the police or the military (50%), and this was followed by those in the healthcare industry (45%). Forty-one percent of those in production also reported inadequate sleep. Many of these are professions where 24-hour shift work is not uncommon.

There were 28% more sleep-deprived transport workers in 2018 than in 2010, though the study did not specify how many of these were long-haul truckers. Overall, the groups that saw the greatest rise in sleep deprivation were multiracial adults, adults living in the western United States and people who are widowed, divorced or separated.

Longer work hours and the increasing use of electronic devices well into the night are behind the trend. Inadequate sleep leads to physical and mental issues, loss of productivity and more on-the-job injuries.

Drowsy truckers are often to blame for truck accidents. When such cases arise, those who were injured through no fault of their own can file a claim against the trucking company. The process can be difficult, though, so victims may want a lawyer by their side. Most personal injury lawyers have a network of crash investigators, medical experts and other third parties who can help build up a case. Lawyers may also handle the negotiation of an out-of-court settlement.