Drivers who travel over long distances have a lesser chance of meeting with an accident if they consume more caffeine than those who do not, reveals a study.
Lisa Sharwood, the study’s lead author, explains why this happens, in saying, “This may seem effective in enhancing their alertness, but it should be considered carefully in the context of a safe and healthy fatigue management strategy; energy drinks and coffee certainly don’t replace the need for sleep.”
However, this isn’t the first time that coffee has been singled out to be an effective stimulant as a report in 2010 also concurred with these findings by concluding that shift workers tend to make less errors if they drink more coffee. Yet there’s a downside – caffeine intake is also known to affect the quality and quantity of sleep.
The study conducted by Australian scientists among 530 long distance commercial vehicle drivers who crashed as well as 517 drivers who did not between the 2008 and 2011 in Western Australia and New South Wales.
What was clear was that drivers who were not involved in an accident used products with caffeine such as energy drinks, coffee, tea and caffeine tablets to remain alert, giving researchers the evidence they required to establish a correlation between the consumption of caffeine and the probability of a crash.
Even though the drivers who did meet with an accident were younger, on an average by two years and had less experience than the drivers who didn’t, the scientists still did reach the conclusion that drivers who consumed caffeine has a 63% less probability of a crash than those who didn’t.
Yet despite the advantage that caffeine offered, researchers recommended that drivers still should take frequent breaks, naps and be given better working hours.