Does too much caffeine lead to truck accidents?

On Behalf of | Jul 20, 2023 | Truck AccidentsPersonal Injury |

Trucking can be an exhausting occupation. The tight schedules and the monotony of the road can leave a lot of truckers struggling with fatigue.

Trucker drinking coffee in the cab of his truck.

Naturally, a lot of truckers turn to caffeine to stay alert. However, studies have found that this isn’t exactly safe for the trucker – or anybody else on the road.

Heavy caffeine use is just one of many related bad habits

A small amount of caffeine is associated with a positive impact on trucking safety. When used in moderation, a quick cup of coffee — or a caffeinated energy drink –can provide a trucker with a slight energy boost and make them more alert. 

However, there really is “too much of a good thing” where caffeine is concerned. Studies show that truckers who indulge in five cups of caffeinated beverages or more per day are actually more likely to have numerous problematic behaviors. For example:

  • They’re more likely to also be smokers
  • They’re generally consuming poorer diets
  • They usually drink more alcohol on their off time
  • They’re less likely to exercise
  • They generally have worse sleep habits
  • They’re more likely to have health conditions like obstructive sleep apnea
  • They are more likely to engage in aggressive driving

It’s not hard to see the connection between excess caffeine use and increased crash risks. For example, if a trucker isn’t sleeping well at night because of too much caffeine consumption, that’s going to increase their fatigue levels the next day. 

When they resort to even more caffeine to try to alleviate the problem, they could end up making themselves agitated, and that could lead to aggressive driving behaviors, like tailgating, or even incidents of road rage. 

If you were hurt in a crash with a commercial vehicle, regardless of the reason, take immediate steps to protect your interests. You can bet that the trucking company will have plenty of legal guidance, so you should, too.