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High caffeine consumption can be a factor in truck accidents

On Behalf of | May 4, 2020 | Firm News

Sharing the road with large trucks might be an intimidating experience. For South Dakota drivers, this is an understandable concern. When considering the statistics for truck accidents and what causes them, that worry is further justified. One surprising issue that might be the potential catalyst for truck crashes is if the truck driver is consuming a significant amount of caffeine.

With the current health situation engulfing the nation, the hours-of-service rules for truckers who are delivering essential items have been relaxed. This may lead to truckers taking certain steps to be more alert and awake so that they can continue driving. Frequently, that involves caffeine. However, a recent study indicates that greater caffeine consumption could be linked to more collisions.

In the study, more than 3,000 truckers from eight states were assessed. Drivers who drank at least five cups of coffee per day stated they slept poorly, consumed more alcohol, were more likely to be smokers, had poorer diets and had generally worse overall health than drivers who consumed less caffeine. Nearly 28% of those who consumed the equivalent of more than five cups of coffee per day had an accident in the previous three years. For those who drank one cup per day, it was 21.6%. Along with coffee, energy drinks and pills were also considered.

Drowsy driving is a known danger, especially for those who spend extended time on the road. If a driver consumes coffee or other caffeinated products, they may believe this is an effective strategy to maintain alertness and drive safely. For drivers who do this on a short-term basis, it is not considered risky. Over a longer period, however, it could increase the chance of a crash.

Truck accidents can cause major damage. People in a passenger vehicle could suffer severe injuries that need hospitalization and surgical procedures in addition to suffering lost income and facing other problems. If there is a fatality, there will be funeral costs, emotional pain, financial ramifications and more. The investigation into the crash may be imperative to a legal filing. Determining how it happened and why may require assistance from a law firm experienced in 18-wheeler accidents.