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Sleep Deprivation – Expert Article on Fatigue in Commercial Truck Crashes

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), sleep deprivation is a factor in almost 100,000 motor vehicle accidents and 1,550 fatalities per year in the United States. In fact, studies suggest that fatigue and/or sleep deprivation may be a contributing factor in at least 30 to 40 percent of all heavy truck crashes.

The Effects of Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation not only affects a person’s health — it also affects a driver’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. The effects of sleep deprivation on drivers include:

  • Increased reaction time
  • Decreased alertness
  • Degraded attention and vigilance
  • Decreased motivation
  • Increased “microsleeps”
  • Increased chance of driver error

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