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Is Monday Night Football to blame for some truck crashes?

A recent study into the reasons behind truck crashes and the best predictors of future crashes found the usual culprits for crashes — such as drowsy driving, not leaving enough space between vehicles and slow response time. However, a possible reason for many unsafe behaviors emerged — Monday Night Football.

An analyst with Lytx, the company behind the study, said, “That’s one of my pet theories.” The study conducted for the company, which specializes in truck analytics and video systems, looked at data collected from approximately 116,000 event recorders.

That theory is based on the finding that avoidable errors — particularly those involving drowsy driving — were especially common on Tuesdays. The analyst said the uptick in these incidents on Tuesdays “is very, very noticeable.” He said, “I wanted to take a look and dig deeper to try to understand why that was such a huge disparity. That’s how we came up with the potential that the NFL might be affecting our driver pool.” The Tuesday phenomenon was even more apparent on the East Coast, where those committed to watching a football game until the end would have to stay up later.

The study, which looked at both collisions and near-collisions, found that more crashes occurred in the early morning hours of Wednesday (2:00 to 4:00 a.m.) than any other time during the week. More collisions occurred during the overnight hours throughout the week (between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m.) than any other time.

Interesting, Friday was the day when the most near-collisions happened. Researchers chalked that up to the “weekend brain” that impacts most of us and causes people to become distracted with thoughts of the days off ahead. Mondays, when drivers are perhaps better rested and focused on the workweek ahead, saw the fewest collisions of any day of the week.

We can never know the state of mind, experience level or degree of safety-consciousness of any truck driver with whom we share the road. Unfortunately, people in cars and other vehicles often fare worse than truck drivers in collisions because of the sheer size of these commercial trucks. These injuries may require months or longer of medical care and rehabilitation that be extremely costly. That’s why it’s essential to hold trucking companies and their drivers legally responsible when they’re at fault.