Truckers who depend too much on coffee to stay awake on the road may be putting themselves at others in danger. Kentucky motorists should know that one study has tentatively linked high coffee consumption over the long term with a higher risk for auto accidents. The study focused on just over 3,000 truck drivers from eight states who reported either drinking one cup of coffee a day or more than five cups.
Asked in a questionnaire if they had been in an accident in the past three years, 21.6% of the low coffee drinkers said yes. Contrast this with the high coffee drinkers, 27.8% of whom said yes. From the questionnaire and the drivers’ medical reports, researchers also found that the high coffee drinkers tended to suffer from poor overall health. They would smoke, drink more alcohol and eat unhealthy. In addition, they failed to get adequate sleep.
Again, the link between high coffee consumption, poor health and higher crash risk is not necessarily proven. Researchers believe that further studies will help strengthen the link. These studies could take into account, for example, how drivers will consume beverages with differing caffeine content and how consumption levels differ between work days and days off. It would also help to know at what point caffeine begins to have an adverse effect.
When truck accidents are caused by the truckers, victims may be able to file a claim against the trucking company. Most trucking companies have a team of lawyers who can help them fight claims and force plaintiffs to settle for less than they deserve, so victims may want a lawyer on their case. The lawyer may have access to a network of investigators, medical experts and other third parties who can gather all the necessary evidence.