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Caffeine consumption habits may influence truckers’ crash risk

| May 27, 2020 | Blog, Trucking Accidents |

Truck drivers can be just as negligent as passenger vehicle drivers. For instance, they can travel while drowsy, drunk or distracted. Drowsiness is significant because it can be hard to prove sometimes. If you were injured by a trucker in North Carolina, there’s a chance you can recover damages. There just has to be proof of the trucker’s negligence.

High caffeine consumption, more crashes

With their long hours, truckers face drowsiness as a constant temptation. Unfortunately, many drivers try to stay awake by consuming large amounts of caffeine, and according to a recent study, this may only worsen the situation. The study was conducted jointly by researchers at the Virginia Tech Transport Institute and a Loughborough University Design School lecturer.

A total of 3,007 truck drivers from eight states participated. They were chosen specifically for their caffeine-consuming habits as one group consumed only one cup (or glass or pill) of a caffeinated beverage each day while the other group consumed more than five. Asked if they had been in a crash in the past three years, 21.6% and 27.8% of the first and second groups, respectively, answered yes.

Poor health reported among high caffeine users

The second group also tended to suffer from worse health. This was reflected in their lack of restful sleep; poor diet; and in some cases, a habit of smoking or drinking excessively. While researchers cannot directly link high caffeine use with higher crash risk, poor health can lead to unsafe driving.

What makes the study unique

This is perhaps the first large-scale documentation of caffeine-consuming habits among truckers. Previous studies have only analyzed the effect of caffeine on truckers in a laboratory setting. Still, further research will be needed to explore this effect.

A lawyer to protect your rights

Victims of motor vehicle accidents who are not to blame for their injuries are entitled to compensation. North Carolina follows the rule of contributory negligence, so it may be wise to have a lawyer assess the case beforehand in light of this strict rule.

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