6 Disasters Caused by Lack of Sleep
Three Mile Island
The key accident that caused the 1979 meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear generator in Pennsylvania occurred at 4am, and was made by operators working the night shift. Experts believe fatigue may have been a contributing factor.
Chernobyl The accident at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Ukraine is the worst nuclear disaster in history. The trouble started at 1:26 am on April, 26 1986. The cause of the disaster has been partially attributed to human error caused by confusion and, yes, fatigue.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), "drowsy driving" causes over 100,000 car crashes each year, resulting in about 1,550 deaths. Tired drivers pose a danger to themselves, their passengers, and everyone they share the road with.
Could sleep deprivation cause political gridlock and bad legislation? Former president Bill Clinton seems to think so. In a 2007 interview on The Daily Show, Clinton said, "You have no idea how many Republican and Democratic members of the House and Senate are chronically sleep deprived ... I do believe sleep deprivation has a lot to do with some of the edginess of Washington today."