The return of the NFL season may translate to a higher risk of collisions on waste and recycling collection routes, according to a recent study conducted by Lytx, a global leader in video telematics that delivers video-centered services that help significantly improve the safety and efficiency of commercial and government fleets.
The study, which includes data on behaviors among drivers of 33,000 private waste vehicles from 2012 – 2016, reveals a spike in drowsy driving-related collisions and near-collisions on the Monday and Tuesday mornings following Sunday and Monday night televised NFL games compared to the rest of the year.
"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, in a statement. "Combine that with a late night of watching football, and the risk of drowsy driving is predictable–but solvable."
From 2012-2016, the August – November time frame, on average, saw a 53 percent increase in drowsy driving/falling asleep driving events over the rest of the year. Mondays and Tuesdays during the August - November time frame, on average, showed a 78 percent increase in drowsy driving/falling asleep driving events over the rest of the year.
During the 2016 August – November time frame, the study found the biggest spike. Throughout those four months, there was a 112 percent increase in drowsy driving/falling asleep driving events among waste drivers over the rest of the year, while Mondays and Tuesdays during those four months saw, on average, a 170 percent 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, in a statement. "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."