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Trucking industry among the worst for sleep deprivation

A new study has ranked the professions that experience the most sleep deprivation. Inadequate rest is considered to be less than seven hours of sleep per night. Commercial truckers in Georgia should know that the transport and material moving industry was ranked in the bottom four.

The study involved over 150,000 working adults in the U.S. In all, 35.6% of respondents reported poor sleep in 2018. This was an increase from the 30.9% who reported it in 2010. While 32% of truckers claimed to get inadequate sleep in 2010, that percentage went up to 41% in 2018. Also, 41% of those in the production sector said they don't get enough sleep.

The military and police saw the highest percentage of sleep deprivation cases (50% of respondents), followed by health care workers (45%). In all of these professions, it is not uncommon for workers to engage in 24-hour shift work. Researchers also noted that the greatest rise in sleep deprivation from 2010 to 2018 was seen among men, older adults, multiracial individuals and those who are widowed, divorced or separated.

Researchers did not identify any single cause for this trend, but some factors are obvious. One is a rise in workplace stress, and another is the more widespread use of electronic devices that keep people up at night.

While the study did not clarify how many of the sleep-deprived truckers were long-haul truck drivers, there is no doubt that these operators run the greater risk. If one drives drowsy and causes a truck wreck, they or their trucking company could be held liable for the other party's injuries, vehicle damage, pain and suffering and other losses. A victim, for their part, may want to hire a lawyer who can gather evidence of the trucker's negligence and negotiate for a settlement.

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