Caffeine can feel like a lifesaver. When individuals in Oklahoma and elsewhere are tired due to a lack of sleep or an exhausting day, a cup of coffee or an energy drink can feel like the only thing that can help them power through the day. However, relying on caffeine to get through the day could present problems, especially for truck drivers. These individuals not only drive long distances, they travel for long periods of time, sometimes through the night.
While caffeine can give a truck driver a sense of alertness, the reality is that heavy reliance on caffeine leads to poorer health. This in turn leads to getting less sleep, being more fatigued, more prone to risky and aggressive driving and a higher rate of collisions when compared to those that drink and drive.
A current study looked at the caffeine habits of more than 3,000 truck drivers. It found that nearly half of them drank 5 or more sources of caffeine a day. Furthermore, researchers found that heavy caffeine drinkers tended to be in poorer general health. In other words, those that consumed on average of 7.5 caffeinated drinks a day were likely heavy smokers, drank more alcohol, exercised less and had poorer diets when compared to those that did not consume much, if at all, caffeine each day.
This group of truck drivers were also linked to experiencing more fatigue, reckless driving and truck crashes. While caffeine is used to counter sleepiness, research found that it in fact has a direct link to driver impairment due to increased tiredness and safety risks associated with the side effects of high consumption of caffeine daily.
Even when truck drivers following federal trucking regulations, such as hours of service, this does not mean all steps have been taken to ensure a truck driver can safely perform his or her job. Thus, when a truck accident occurs, it is important to understand that other conduct could have resulted in a fatigued truck driver causing a crash.
Victims of a truck accident are likely to suffer significant harm. These massive vehicles have the tendency of causing large accident sites involving serious injuries and damages. Thus, it is important that accident victims explore their rights, such as filing a personal injury action to recover losses and damages suffered as a result of a truck accident.