While truck drivers may rely on caffeine to keep them awake during long hauls, a new study shows a proper night’s sleep is the best way to avoid truck accidents caused by drowsy driving. The new study was published in the British Medical Journal.
Effects of Caffeine in Avoiding Truck Accidents
The study found that the number of truck accidents declined significantly when truck drivers consumed caffeine. In fact, there was a 63 percent reduction of accidents, compared to truck drivers who did not consume caffeine. Although this is a significant decrease in accidents, other steps are recommended by experts.
Methods of the Study
Researchers analyzed data regarding approximately 1,000 semi truck drivers. Approximately 50 percent of the drivers had been involved in a truck accident between December 2008 and May 2011. According to the drivers, 43 percent of them said that they consumed caffeine to try to stay awake. Those who admitted to consuming caffeine said that they consumed tea, coffee, caffeine tablets or energy drinks in an attempt to stay awake.
Statistics Regarding Truck Accidents
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that approximately 5,500 truck accidents occur due to drowsy drivers every year. In some areas, commercial trucks have doubled or tripled in some locations throughout the United States.
Approximately 2 percent of these accidents result in injuries and about 2.5 percent involve fatalities caused by driver fatigue or drowsiness. More accidents are occurring in areas where truck traffic is more congested.
Recommendations for Avoiding Truck Accidents
The researchers concluded that the best way to combat the effects of drowsy truck driving is to incorporate mandated strategies to assist with the problem of fatigue. Most road safety experts believe that getting adequate sleep is the answer, not reliance on caffeine. However, the researchers ultimately concluded that caffeine could be used in conjunction with adequate rest in efforts to reduce commercial truck accidents.
Have you been seriously injured in a truck accident in Tampa? Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today!
Individuals who have been injured in truck accidents may be able to seek compensation from a negligent truck driver or truck company. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, rehabilitation expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. If the accident results in death, the family may have the opportunity to seek compensation through a wrongful death claim.
Call Abrahamson & Uiterwyk today at 1-813-324-5202 to receive a free initial consultation and case evaluation.