The truck drivers who haul goods throughout Texas and across the country must meet tight pickup and dropoff deadlines. To stay alert behind the wheel or just to pass the time on long stretches of highways, truckers often reach for coffee, tea, energy drinks or other caffeinated beverages.
According to a recent study, truckers who drink significant amounts of caffeine were more likely to have had an accident than those who consume minimal or moderate amounts. While this study shows a correlation between caffeine consumption and accident risk, the reason for the uptick is not exactly clear.
The risk of drowsy driving
Because fatigued driving may be just as dangerous as drunk driving, truckers must take regular rest breaks to stay safe behind the wheel and to comply with federal and state law. While caffeine may make a professional driver more alert in the short term, it is not a substitute for high-quality sleep. Regrettably, excessive caffeine consumption may make it difficult for truckers to rest during their scheduled breaks.
The dangers of an unhealthy lifestyle
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals who consume large amounts of caffeine are more likely to smoke tobacco and drink alcohol. Furthermore, caffeine consumption may cause high blood pressure, an elevated heart rate or other potentially dangerous health concerns. Simply put, if a driver’s caffeine habit is part of an overall unhealthy lifestyle, the trucker may pose a grave risk to other motorists, cyclists, pedestrians and construction crews.
Because truck accidents happen for many different reasons, accident victims often must undertake an extensive investigation to find the root cause or causes. Ultimately, if a trucker’s caffeine consumption contributes to a crash, the driver and trucking company may be liable for considerable financial damages.