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Is there a link between caffeine and truck crashes?

Have you gotten jittery after drinking an entire Red Bull? Have you ever had too much caffeine and too little food and found yourself unfocused and irritable? Or, maybe you've made the mistake of having a cup of coffee too late in the evening and found yourself unable to sleep but unable to do anything productive.

Sound familiar? While most people don't think of caffeine as a drug, it actually does have a significant effect on the human central nervous system -- and that's why most people use it. As a stimulant, it can improve alertness and help you stay awake when you need to be or wake up in the morning.

But "too much of a good thing" is always bad, and that's also true with caffeine. When researchers looked at the caffeine consumption of 3,000 truckers in the United States they found something telling: Those drivers who consumed the most caffeine every day were also the ones with the worst track record for safety on the road.

It takes the equivalent of five cups of coffee per day to put someone's caffeine consumption in the 90% for U.S. adults. Drivers who met or exceeded that amount had 6% more accidents than drivers who consumed only one cup per day. Those drivers who were relying on caffeine to get them through their day also reported other problems, like bad diets, poor general health and overall more trouble sleeping.

While excess caffeine consumption isn't the only reason for a wreck, it may indicate that a driver has been pushing through their fatigue -- and putting themselves and others at risk.

If you've been hurt in a wreck with a commercial vehicle, you may be due compensation for your losses. Don't let anyone talk you into signing away your rights until you've talked to an attorney.

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