If you’re like most Americans, you can’t wait to grab that first cup of coffee in the morning. Therefore, it’s probably no surprise to you that truckers sometimes consume massive amounts of caffeine on the job. After all, caffeine is the number one stimulant used to help people stay awake when they’re putting in long hours on the job.
The only problem is that excessive caffeine use can actually lead to more accidents out there on the road rather than less. A study that involved 3,000 truckers in eight states compared the amount of caffeine each trucker used to their accidents rates. Drivers who drank large amounts of caffeine (whether via coffee or energy drinks), experienced 6% more accidents than truckers who consumed only moderate amounts of caffeine.
How could caffeine contribute to accident rates? Drivers who reported drinking five or more cups of coffee per day (which puts them on the high-end for caffeine consumption in this country) also reported poorer health, difficulty sleeping, poorer diets, higher alcohol intake and overall worse health habits than their less-caffeinated counterparts.
Researchers point out that the excessive caffeine consumption may be a symptom of an unhealthy lifestyle, rather than the cause of it. However, more research would need to be done in order to tell.
The problem for many truckers is that their work doesn’t lend itself to living a healthy lifestyle. Drivers are often obliged to work excruciatingly long hours in order to meet shipping demands, especially right now. If you’re injured in an accident with a big rig, find out more about your right to compensation for your losses.