Our nation relies on truck drivers to deliver the many goods we use on a daily basis. Drivers routinely travel hundreds of miles a day to transport these goods. Driving for long distances can quickly become monotonous, and many truck drivers rely on caffeinated drinks, especially coffee, in order to remain alert. But is pushing through fatigue by consuming caffeine safe?
A recent study from Loughborough University in the United Kingdom studied the connection between high caffeine intake among truck drivers and an increased risk of being involved in an accident. The study followed 3,007 truck drivers in the United States for three years. Roughly half had a “high caffeine intake” of five or more caffeinated drinks per day, and half had a “low caffeine intake” of one caffeinated drink per day.
The study found that the drivers with a high caffeine intake reported fewer hours of sleep per night and increased daytime sleepiness. Additionally, these drivers reported more negative health behaviors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity, and an unhealthy diet. Most alarmingly, these drivers reported more risky driving behaviors, such as aggressive driving and negative emotions, as well as more previous crashes, than their counterparts with a low caffeine intake.
Even though the drivers with a high caffeine intake crashed more often than others, it is not clear why. Many other negative health behaviors may also increase the risk of having an accident. Since nearly all truck drivers must remain alert while driving for many hours, it is essential that trucking companies take steps to address these issues with their employees as more research becomes available.
Trucking Companies Pushing Drivers to Deliver During COVID-19
This study on caffeine intake and alertness among truckers is especially relevant right now during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued an emergency declaration that allows truck drivers some exemptions from the hours-of-service rules if they are hauling medical supplies, food, or other essential items. This may cause some truckers to drive longer than usual, thus potentially increasing their risk of crashing.
Injured in a Truck Accident? Talk to a Lawyer Now
If you have been injured in an accident with a large truck through no fault of your own, you may be owed compensation for your losses. Truck accident cases are often complicated, so you need an experienced attorney who will take the time to understand the details of your case and fight for the full compensation you deserve.
The personal injury attorneys at The Law Offices of Hilda Sibrian are highly experienced with truck accident cases and have earned a reputation for success. Our legal team will work hard to pursue the maximum financial compensation you need to recover from your injuries and move forward with your life. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and learn how we can help you.