Connection between truck accidents and use of caffeine found

| Apr 16, 2020 | Personal Injury

The Texas roadways are often populated by large trucks. These 18-wheelers may serve a vital role in the economy, but there are dangers associated with them. Their size and speed, the distance drivers must cover and other factors might result in truckers taking risks. Truck accidents can cause significant damage, injuries and death.

Long-term consumption of caffeine can lead to more crashes

Hours-of-service rules are in place to ensure drivers do not spend so much time on the road that they drive drowsy or use substances to stay awake. A recent study found that a stimulant that is generally considered safe – caffeine – may be linked to an increase in truck crashes. The recent health crisis led to the suspension of hours-of-service rules for certain truckers. Although consuming caffeine was found to be safe in short spurts, doing so for an extended period was found to be connected to more collisions.

Heavy caffeine use linked to other bad habits

It was found that almost 6% more truckers who drank large amounts of coffee or caffeinated drinks had a truck accident within the last three years when compared to those who drank less caffeine. Truckers who consumed at least five cups per day generally had worse diets, were smokers, drank a greater amount of alcohol, got poor sleep and were in worse health than their counterparts. While caffeine is not viewed as the sole cause of the spike in accidents, it contributes to the issues that may lead to crashes.

How the study was conducted

Of the drivers who drank less coffee and caffeinated drinks, 21.6% had an accident in the past three years. That figure rose to 27.8% for those who consumed more. Slightly more than 3,000 of the 11,000 drivers who took part met the criteria for coffee and other caffeinated drinks intake. They were then split based on how much they drank.

Recourse for accident victims

Truck accidents happen for myriad reasons, and drivers should be attentive whenever they share the road with a truck. Dangerous behaviors are common in crashes, but drivers who drink substantial amounts of caffeinated drinks may also be a factor. After an accident, legal assistance might help a victim seek compensation. A law firm with experience in handling truck accidents could help.