Lack of sleep or irregular sleep that disturbs your body's natural 24-hour cycle can substantially increase your risk of accidents—on and off the job. To work safely you have to be alert and focused, but when you're sleepy that may be impossible.
According to the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), fatigued driving claimed 846 lives in 2014. The NHTSA estimates falling asleep while driving is responsible for at least 100,000 automobile crashes, 40,000 injuries, and 1,550 fatalities each year. About half of all traffic fatalities occur at night. When you consider the miles driven at night, that rate is closer to four times as high as for daytime driving.
In July 2016, the National Safety Council launched an initiative on occupational fatigue. "Aside from just an increase in workplace risk, there's also long-term economic consequences," said Emily Whitcomb, senior program manager of the initiative. "NSC is tackling fatigue because as we're working toward eliminating preventable deaths, fatigue is one of the larger issues."
Do you think you get enough sleep each night? The National Sleep Foundation says everyone should aim to get between seven and a half to nine hours of sleep each night.