Girardi | Keese

Study shows 60 percent of train operators don't get enough sleep

Almost 60 percent of train operators say that they rarely get an adequate night's sleep on a work night, says a recent study from the National Sleep Foundation. The survey also reveals that 26 percent of train operators believe their lack of sleep affects their job performance, and 18 percent of train operators responding to the survey have made a serious mistake, or had a "near miss" accident due to lack of adequate sleep. All of these factors, in California and across the nation, have the potential to cause serious injuries or even wrongful death in train accidents.

There is a very slim margin for error concerning the operation of a train due to the significant amount of damage an accident involving a train can cause. Train operators must understandably be wide awake and clear-headed to appropriately operate such a large vehicle. Interestingly, the National Sleep Foundation's survey also notes that 56 percent of train operators take at least one nap during the day, and 33 percent report taking a nap while on the clock.

While it is comforting to know that many of those in charge of operating our trains are attempting to keep themselves appropriately awake, the number of train operators who think they don't get enough sleep is still very high. Accidents still occur that sometimes cause serious injuries or even death.

When such an accident happens because the operator of the train has not taken steps to ensure they have gotten enough sleep, or when they are working under a schedule that doesn't physically allow them appropriate time to get enough rest, it is possible that victims of such an accident could receive compensation for the injuries and related pain and suffering caused by this sort of accident. Victims and families of victims in these circumstances in California and elsewhere benefit from being fully aware of their rights and the regulations in place that are meant to keep the operators of their trains working in top condition.

Source: The Washington Times, "Not getting enough rest a problem for operators of planes, trains, trucks," Ben Wolfgang, March 6, 2012

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