When a Louisiana driver is tired, he or she may swing through the drive-thru and grab a coffee or stop at a convenience store and get a caffeinated beverage. Caffeine is a common way for people to help themselves stay awake and remain alert, and the consumption of it is particularly prevalent for those who drive for a living. Truck drivers, often spending hours on the road, frequently consume caffeine so they can stay awake.
Truck drivers are prone to fatigue because of the long shifts they spend behind the wheel. It’s natural they would want to find ways to stay awake, but there is reason to believe that caffeine may not work that well. In fact, it may actually do the opposite. Studies find that truckers who consume excessive amounts of caffeine are actually more likely to have an accident.
A dangerous problem
Caffeine affects people in different ways. While one cup of coffee may be enough to keep a person awake all night, it may not have much effect on another. Each truck driver is different, but a study found the following facts to be true of many of those who rely on five or more caffeinated beverages while on the road:
- These drivers actually feel sleepier but sleep for shorter amounts each night.
- They have overall poorer health than truckers who consume less caffeine.
- These truckers are more likely to engage in aggressive driving.
- They are more likely to be involved in various types of truck accidents.
Fatigue is one of the leading causes of truck accidents, but drinking certain types of beverages and relying on certain types of chemicals may not be the answer. The solution to truck driver fatigue likely lies in better sleep at night, more reasonable work schedules, mandated breaks and other measures that encourage and enforce rest.
Victim of a truck accident?
If you are the victim of an accident caused by a fatigued truck driver, you could have grounds for a civil claim. These types of incidents are often preventable, and it is possible to hold the appropriate liable parties accountable through specific legal steps. These types of accident cases can be complex, which is why you will find it beneficial to speak with an experienced attorney regarding your options, starting with a complete and thorough assessment of your case.