You live in West Virginia and have a long commute every day to work. This raises your risk for an accident, especially an accident with a truck driver. With the long hours that they put in, it’s not surprising that many truckers have to fight off drowsiness: one of the leading causes, along with distractions and intoxication, of accidents in this country. Yet in their effort to stay awake, many truckers are putting themselves and others at risk.

More coffee, more truck accidents

A transport safety lecturer from the Loughborough University Design School worked with the Virginia Tech Transport Institute on a study analyzing truckers’ coffee-drinking habits and crash risk. From a pool of 11,000 truckers, 3,007 were chosen because they reported drinking either one cup of coffee a day or more than five cups per day.

These truckers were all given questionnaires to fill out and were assured that their answers would remain confidential. When asked if they had been in an accident in the past three years, 21.6% of the one-cup-a-day truckers said yes. As for the second group, 27.8% said yes.

More coffee may mean poorer health

The truckers who drink over five cups of coffee per day reported poorer health overall as reflected in their inadequate sleep, unhealthy diet and habit of smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. These can raise the risk for a crash. However, researchers cannot say for certain that there is a cause-effect relationship between high coffee consumption and increased crash risk.

Future studies could make the connection clearer, such as by determining where the “tipping point” into unsafe behavior can be with coffee consumption. Other variables need to be explored. After all, coffee is not the only caffeinated substance that truckers use.

A lawyer to help you handle the stress

Perhaps you were injured at the hands of a negligent truck driver. It may be advisable, then, to hire a lawyer who understands how personal injury law pertains to motor vehicle accidents. The lawyer may evaluate your case and work to strengthen it with the help of crash investigators and other third parties while you focus on your physical and emotional recovery.