Truck drivers work long hours and consequently have to contend with drowsiness. Many will rely on caffeinated beverages to stay awake, but it appears that there is a correlation between high levels of caffeinated beverage consumption and accidents. If someone you know was injured at the hands of a trucker in Mobile, Alabama, you should know what one study has to say about this possible link between caffeine use and crash risk.
What 3,000 truckers had to say
A transport safety lecturer from the U.K. collaborated with the Virginia Tech Transport Institute to look into the caffeine-consuming habits of 3,007 truck drivers. These truckers, who hailed from eight different states, were chosen because they fit into one of two opposing camps that researchers wanted to study: namely, those who consume only one caffeinated beverage a day, and those who consume over five.
These truckers answered a questionnaire, assured that their responses would be kept confidential. Asked if they had been in an accident in the past three years, 21.6% of the low caffeine users and 27.8% of the high caffeine users said yes. Researchers cannot say for certain that this 6% increase is due to the caffeine habit, but it’s supported by the fact that the high caffeine users also reported poorer health overall. They would:
• Eat unhealthy foods
• Drink excessively
• Fail to achieve restful sleep
Studying actual caffeine-consuming habits
This study is unique in how it analyzes actual truckers’ habits rather than being confined to laboratory findings. Still, much more research will be necessary. The study’s authors believe that further research could uncover, for example, the “tipping point” at which caffeine consumption leads to unsafe behavior. Other studies could focus on variables like the difference in caffeine consumption levels between work days and rest days.
Lawyer for catastrophic injury cases
More than any other motor vehicle accidents, truck crashes can result in catastrophic injuries for the other side. Perhaps you yourself were the victim of a trucker’s negligence. You may want to hire a lawyer, then, to give your case personal attention and negotiate for a settlement on your behalf.