It is dangerous for anyone to operate any kind of machinery while tired. However, it is particularly frightening to learn that those in the transportation industry are reportedly more tired than those who have jobs that do not require them to operate several thousand pounds of machinery.
According to the National Sleep Foundation's 2012 Sleep in America poll, pilots, train operators, truck drivers and limo drivers are considered more "sleepy" than non-transportation workers and are generally more dissatisfied with their quality of sleep.
When it comes to pilots, almost one-fourth of those surveyed admitted to the fact that being tired has affected their job performance in the last week. Additionally, 20 percent of pilots also admitted that being tired has resulted in them making a serious error.
Train operators did not fare any better, with again one-fourth of those asked claiming that being tired has affected them negatively while at work. One in six train operators also said that being tired was a reason for a "near miss" on the job. One in six truck drivers also admitted to the same "near miss" statistic.
Overall, 42 percent of those who do not work in the transportation industry reported not being happy with their level and quality of sleep. However, for those in the transportation industry, the dissatisfaction level was much higher, with half of pilots, two-thirds of train operators and 44 percent of truck drivers reporting sleep dissatisfaction.
When looking at why those in the transportation industry are reportedly more tired, sources point to long commutes to their jobs, a constantly changing work schedule and not as much time off between shifts.
"This makes it difficult for such workers to maintain regular sleep/wake schedules, which can, in turn make it difficult for these workers to maintain alertness on the job," one sleep researcher said.
Of course, this lack of alertness can lead to accidents with devastating injuries to not only themselves, but also others.