Since truck drivers spend a lot of time on the road, many of them try to combat drowsy driving by drinking energy drinks or coffee. It might seem like ingesting coffee is just what a trucker needs to stay alert and not cause an auto wreck. Recent research, however, suggests that truckers who drink coffee over a long period of time are more likely to experience an automobile accident.
According to American Trucker, a UK researcher conducted a study of 3,000 American drivers across eight states and discovered that truckers who consumed a lot of coffee or energy drinks were 6% more likely to get into a crash. However, drinking coffee might not be the cause of the crashes, but an indicator of other problems that could cause an accident.
Indications of poor health
According to the study, truckers who reported drinking more coffee generally had health issues or poor health habits. They tended not to get enough sleep. They drank greater amounts of alcohol. They smoked and did not eat a proper diet. Overall, these respondents were more likely to be in poorer health than other truck drivers.
These factors indicated that drinking a lot of coffee was not the sole or primary cause of getting into an accident. The study was more likely to indicate that extensive coffee consumption was just one factor contributing to a number of negative health issues that could result in a trucker getting into a road collision.
Improving driver health as a whole
The researcher behind the study did not suggest that truck drivers quit drinking coffee or energy drinks completely, but instead pointed out that small doses of caffeine can increase alertness and minimize drowsiness. Still, drinking a lot of coffee did not substitute for a good night’s sleep or a positive state of health.
The article went on to explain that further studies might help to better understand the effects of caffeine on truck drivers. The researcher suggested that drivers should undertake efforts to improve their overall health rather than focusing all their efforts on combating fatigue. Maintaining good health may help truckers avoid dangerous driving behaviors such as reckless driving or speeding that could result in a serious or deadly accident.