Truck drivers often have to drive for long shifts, spending hours on the road and facing pressure to deliver cargo as quickly as possible. Fatigue is one of the most serious problems facing the trucking industry, and tired truckers are more likely to cause accidents. When sleepy, many of the men and women who drive these types of vehicles reach for a caffeinated beverage.
Like many others, you may rely on coffee, an energy drink or soda to help you stay awake. Caffeine can provide a temporary fix to sleepiness, but studies have found that it may actually make things worse for Colorado truck drivers. There is evidence that high caffeine consumption is actually connected with a higher chance of truck accidents and risky accidents.
What’s so bad about caffeine?
A recent study took an in-depth look at caffeine and its impact on truck drivers. While it can help drivers combat sleepiness and stay alert, it can also have adverse effects when consumed in high amounts. In fact, the study concluded that truckers who consume excessive amounts of caffeinated beverages are more likely to have truck accidents than those who do not. The study also found the following to be true:
- Truckers who consume a lot of caffeine are actually more prone to feel sleepy and get less sleep at night.
- High-caffeine consumers are more likely to have poorer overall health.
- These truckers are more likely to display aggressive behaviors and make mistakes behind the wheel.
This data is interesting because the current recommendation for fatigued truckers is to take a nap and drink caffeine. These facts do not mean that it is completely unsafe to drink coffee or something else behind the wheel, but it could mean that truckers should be particularly aware of how much they consume and how it could be affecting their health. They should also be aware of a tendency to be aggressive or make poor decisions after drinking copious amounts of caffeine.
What can victims do?
If you are the victim of an accident caused by a negligent or reckless truck driver, you have the right to take immediate and decisive action. You could have grounds to pursue a civil claim, which may allow you to secure compensation for your pain and suffering as well as your financial losses. An evaluation of your case can help you understand what legal options may be available to you.