An Australian study published recently in the British Medical Journal found that truck drivers who consumed caffeine were less likely than other motorists to be involved in crashes, even when lack of sleep and other factors were accounted for. The study looked at 530 long distance commercial truck drivers who were involved in a crash between 2008 and 2011 and an additional 517 truck drivers who had not had an accident in the past twelve months. The researchers at The George Institute at the University of Sydney conducted interviews to determine how much caffeine each truck driver consumed as well as the health and demographics of each driver.
According to researchers, 85% of truck drivers who were involved in accidents didn’t consume energy drinks regularly. 78% of truck drivers involved in accidents did not drink any caffeine. However, 51% of truck drivers who did not have an accident in the past year didn’t drink caffeine.
The research is compelling, but could caffeine really help prevent truck accidents in Miami Springs and across Florida? The researchers from the study agree that more research needs to be done about the effects of caffeine on fatigued driving and truck accidents. Most experts also agree that fatigued driving is a leading cause of truck accidents and car accidents in Miami Springs and across the country. Fatigued driving causes many dangerous situations for drivers:
1) Fatigued driving slows response times. According to some research studies, response times of heavily fatigued drivers are similar to those of drunk drivers. However, while there is a great deal of education and a great deal of social pressure not to drink and drive, fatigued driving is just seen as a reality caused by hectic lifestyles. Not all drivers are aware of the risks of driving when sleepy.
2) Fatigued driving increases the risk of driver errors. We are all more likely to make errors when we are tired, but making errors behind the wheel can lead to a serious pedestrian accident in Miami Springs or your community. Drivers who are tired may make obvious errors such as failing to signal, changing lanes without checking for oncoming traffic, ignoring traffic lights, and other major mistakes.
3) Fatigued drivers may fall into micro sleeps. According to sleep disorder experts, when the human body is very tired, it shuts down for very small increments of time – often just seconds or fractions of a second – as it struggles to cope with extreme fatigue. Unfortunately, when this happens behind the wheel of a car, it can cause a serious traffic accident.
4) Fatigued drivers may fall asleep at the wheel. Each year, traffic accidents in Miami Springs and across the country occur because a driver falls asleep behind the wheel of their truck or car and heads into oncoming traffic or another vehicle.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident in Miami Springs or in any South Florida community, arrange for a free, no obligation case evaluation with the Flaxman Law Group. The Flaxman Law Group is a full-service law firm with three convenient locations in the South Florida area.