High amounts of caffeine over the short term can help truckers through the day, but if this becomes a habit, it may raise the risk for an accident. One study suggests a link between high caffeine use and higher crash risk, though future studies will be needed to prove any cause-effect relationship. California drivers may nonetheless be interested to hear the results, which were published in the journal Safety Science.
The study involved 3,007 truck drivers from eight different states, including California. These truckers were chosen specifically because of their caffeine-using habits. On the one hand were those who consume a single cup, glass or pill of a caffeinated product every day. On the other hand were those who consume over five of them.
Asked in a questionnaire about their health, the high caffeine users reported poorer health overall. This included poor sleep, an unhealthy diet and a habit of smoking. Researchers also asked if they were in a crash in the past three years: 27.8% of the high caffeine users said yes, which was significantly more than the first group (21.6%).
Again, correlation does not mean causation, but researchers are confident that the link will only become clearer with time. Future studies can focus, for example, on the tipping point where caffeine consumption leads to unsafe behavior.
Truckers could cause motor vehicle crashes because they are drowsy, intoxicated, distracted or negligent in some other way. Victims of such negligence may be able to seek compensatory damages, but they may want to consult an attorney in advance. Personal injury attorneys usually have a network of investigators and other third parties who can bring together proof of the defendants negligence. Victims may then have their attorney negotiate on their behalf.