Like many others, you may rely on the jolt you get from coffee or another type of caffeinated beverage to help you stay awake. Whether it’s first thing in the morning or after lunch, many people need a boost to help them wake up and focus on the task at hand. This is especially true when driving long stretches and spending hours on the road at a time.
Commercial truck drivers spend a significant amount of time on the road. They often face pressure to deliver loads within a certain amount of time, and they can experience fatigue as they try to do their jobs. In fact, drowsiness is one of the leading reasons for truck accidents, and many truckers rely on caffeine to help them stay awake and alert. This can be effective for some, but there are some reasons to believe that relying too heavily on caffeine may not actually be safe.
Is it dangerous?
Caffeine by itself is not dangerous for individuals who do not have medical conditions or bad reactions to the stimulant. Many people drink coffee with no problems, including many truck drivers. What is dangerous is the effect that caffeine can have on those who drink it in excessive amounts on a long-term basis, especially those who are behind the wheel of large and heavy vehicles. Consider the following:
- Studies find that 6% of truckers who drank excessive amounts of caffeine for an extended period of time were more likely to report an accident.
- Truckers who consumed five or more caffeinated beverages per day had poorer overall health and slept worse than those who drank less caffeine.
- Excessive caffeine intake can also affect driver behavior, leading to poor decisions behind the wheel.
This does not mean that drinking caffeine is a negative thing. In fact, it can be a necessity for those who need a boost while driving. However, each trucker is responsible for making sure he or she is not behind the wheel while feeling unable to drive safely or excessively fatigued.
Victims of truck accident
If you suffered harm in a Florida truck accident, it is possible you are the victim of a fatigued truck driver. You do not have to suffer in silence, and you can seek appropriate compensation for what you suffered, including recompense for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages. An assessment of your case can help you understand the legal options available to you.