It’s always interesting to learn more about what causes crashes. Take, for example, a study that has determined that truck drivers who drink more caffeine are at a higher risk of getting into crashes.
A researcher looked into the data from around 3,000 drivers across eight states and found that around 6% of truck drivers who drank large amounts of coffee and caffeine reported being involved in a crash within the last three years compared to those who did not drink as much. The study discovered that drivers who drank five cups of caffeine or more were more likely to report having poor diets, poor sleep habits and lower overall health. Additionally, they were more likely to use alcohol and smoke.
It’s important to note that correlation isn’t the same as causation. Caffeine doesn’t cause crashes. However, drinking a lot of coffee can be a sign of other underlying issues, like being too tired to drive safely. On top of that, poorer health could be linked to a higher risk of getting into crashes.
Past studies have shown that there is some short-term benefit to having caffeine if you’re experiencing sleepiness behind the wheel, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that drinking more is making drivers safer. The data for the study, which looked at drivers from Georgia, Texas, California, Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, New Jersey and Illinois found 3,007 people who met the criteria of drinking coffee in specific amounts. They were divided into two groups, those who drank a single cup a day versus those who drank five or more cups. The research did not look at the mid-range drivers to avoid muddled results.
This is an interesting study to look at if you’re interested in how caffeine affects drivers. Drowsiness of any kind usually means that a driver needs to pull over and stop. Though caffeine could help in the short term, a driver may be putting others at risk by delaying sleep.