Truckers in Indiana should think twice about consuming lots of caffeine over the long term. Far from keeping them awake, overconsumption can lead to poorer health, which can be reflected in a continual state of fatigue. One study has linked, though not definitively, long-term caffeine use with a higher truck accident rate.
Comparing high- and low-caffeine users
The study was conducted by a transportation safety researcher from the U.K. in partnership with the Virginia Tech Transport Institute. From a pool of 11,000 drivers, researchers narrowed their focus on 3,007 drivers. These drivers were chosen for their caffeine-consuming habits: One group consumed five cups of a caffeinated beverage each day while another group consumed one.
Within the previous three years, 21.6% of low-caffeine users claimed they had been in a crash. Of the high-caffeine users, that rate rose to 27.8%. Besides that, the latter reported having poor overall health, not eating well, not sleeping well, drinking more alcohol and smoking.
The first large-scale study of its kind
Based on self-reported data, this study is the first to analyze truckers’ actual caffeine-consuming behaviors. However, further research will be necessary to determine if long-term caffeine use actually causes crashes. Other studies will need to factor in variables such as the difference in caffeine content from one beverage to another.
Seeking compensation after a truck crash
Many truck crashes are caused by drowsiness. If you were injured at the hands of a drowsy truck driver, you may have a personal injury case. Indiana operates under a modified comparative negligence law, which states that only plaintiffs less than half at fault can be eligible for damages. You may leave it to a lawyer to determine if you qualify and, if so, for how much. The lawyer could even negotiate for you.