Truck drivers working in the area of Pasadena, California, know that they need to stay alert on the road. Caffeine can help them overcome tiredness in the short term, but an academic survey of 3,000 U.S. truck drivers linked an over-reliance on coffee, energy drinks or caffeine pills to more truck accidents.
Highly caffeinated drivers
The study looked at commercial truck drivers who consumed over five doses of caffeine either through beverages or energy pills. This level of consumption placed them in the uppermost tier of caffeine intake compared to average daily coffee drinkers.
Within this highly caffeinated group of drivers, almost 6 percent more of them had been in an accident over the past three years compared to drivers who used minimal caffeine. Overall, 27.8 percent of truck drivers who used large amounts of caffeine were involved in crashes. Among truck drivers who consumed low amounts of caffeine, only 21.6 percent of them reported being in wrecks in the previous three-year period.
Caffeine may be a contributing factor
Although the study correlated high caffeine use with a greater rate of truck accidents, it did not conclude that caffeine was the sole cause of the crash rate. The researcher speculated that excessive intake of caffeine might be more common among truck drivers with unhealthy lifestyles. The survey respondents who used caffeine the most also tended to have poor sleep quality, bad eating habits and higher alcohol consumption.
Job pressure and long hours
Transport companies have a financial interest in moving goods as quickly as possible. This pressure could at times motivate truck drivers to sacrifice safety for speed. You may be wondering about your rights if you have been hurt while driving a truck for a company that held you to unreasonable or even unlawful expectations about delivery times. Representation from an attorney knowledgeable about motor vehicle accidents might be especially important if your injuries are disabling and responsibility for your financial damages remains unclear. Such cases may require going to go trial to pursue an adequate settlement.