Truck drivers in Mississippi and across the U.S. have to fight through fatigue, but the unfortunate thing is that drinking lots of caffeine to stay awake actually does more harm than good. A study performed by a U.K. transport safety lecturer and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has found that the more caffeine one consumes, the higher the risk for a crash.
The study involved 3,007 truck drivers from eight different states. These were selected from a pool of 11,000 because of their caffeine-consuming habits. In one group were those who consume one cup, glass or pill of a caffeinated beverage a day; the second group consisted of those who consume over five. Of the first group, 21.6% admitted in a questionnaire that they were in a crash in the past three years. Of the second, 27.8% admitted to the same thing.
Moreover, the high caffeine consumers reported having poor health overall. This was reflected in things like unhealthy diet, inadequate sleep, the habit of smoking and that of drinking alcohol excessively. Future studies may show where the “tipping point” is in regard to caffeine use and unsafe behavior.
Of course, the results are not conclusive; correlation does not imply causation. The study is unique, though, in being the first large-scale documentation of truck drivers’ actual caffeine-consuming behaviors.
Drowsy driving is one of the leading factors in truck accidents, and it’s a clear form of negligence. Those who are the victims of negligence are entitled to compensation under personal injury law, but filing a persuasive claim and achieving a fair amount in damages can be a difficult matter. Victims may do well to seek out legal counsel, then. A lawyer may handle all negotiations and even take the case to court if a settlement cannot be agreed on.