A spike in drowsy driving incidents among waste drivers seemed to correspond with the return of the the NFL season, according to video-based technology safety company Lytx.
From 2012 to 2016, the August-to-November time frame saw a 53% increase in incidents involving drowsy driving or falling asleep at the wheel, compared to the rest of the year. On Mondays and Tuesdays, the risk was up 78% compared to the rest of the year, according to Lytx.
November of 2016 showed a 112% increase in drowsy driving or falling asleep driving events among waste drivers over the rest of the year, while Mondays and Tuesdays during those four months saw an average 170% spike.
"This study tells us that waste companies would benefit from encouraging their drivers to get more sleep on football nights," said Dave Riordan, Lytx chief client officer. "Since the start of football season coincides with the onset of back-to-school schedules, drivers are doubly challenged to get a good night's rest."
Lytx made these findings by analyzing behaviors among drivers of 33,000 private waste vehicles from 2012 to 2016. Lytx says its DriveCam video-based telematics system is used by many of the major national waste companies as well as dozens of municipal waste fleets in the U.S.
"Waste drivers have one of the toughest jobs in America, and on top of a strenuous work day, they tend to have very early shifts, heading out to make their rounds before the sun's come up," said Darrell Smith, president and CEO of the National Waste and Recycling Association. "Combine that with a late night of watching football, and the risk of drowsy driving is predictable but solvable."