Caffeine Use Correlated with Lower Truck Accident Rates
Attorneys specializing in trucking litigation know better than most the danger that a fatigued truck driver presents to others on the road. Tight deadlines can encourage truck drivers to put in long hours, increasing the risk of fatigue.
That is why a study published recently in the British Medical Journal is noteworthy. The study examined the effect that caffeine has on preventing truck accidents among commercial drivers.
The authors of the study examined the driving history of over 1,000 drivers. About half of them were involved in accidents between December 2008 and May 2011. Nearly half – 43 percent – reported using caffeine to stay alert while driving.
Researchers found that the caffeine-consuming truck drivers had a 60 percent lower accident rate than those who skipped the caffeine. Despite that promising figure, researchers cautioned that caffeine is not a total solution. They explained that caffeine, napping, and walking are all potential contributors to alertness that should be researched further.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that driver fatigue is responsible for between 5,000 and 6,000 road deaths each year.
Before driving, especially on long trips, it is important to make sure you are alert enough to drive safely. Plan ahead to get sufficient sleep, drink caffeine if you choose, and plan rest breaks to stretch your legs. Practice defensive driving techniques to protect yourself from drowsy drivers.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.