Truck drivers in Texas and across the U.S. may be getting into crashes because of the high amounts of coffee that they drink. A study conducted by a U.K. researcher and members of the Virginia Tech Transport Institute has made a tentative connection between coffee consumption and crash risk. The results were published in the journal Safety Science.
For the study, 11,000 truck drivers from eight states were asked to respond to a questionnaire while their medical records were also reviewed. Researchers then focused on 3,007 truckers because they fit one of two categories: those who drink one cup of coffee a day and those who drink over five cups a day.
The drivers were asked if they had been in an accident in the previous three years. Of the low coffee drinkers, 21.6% said yes. Of the high coffee drinkers, 27.8% said yes. Moreover, the second group mentioned were found to suffer from poorer health overall. They smoked and drank more alcohol than the first group, did not achieve as restful a sleep and had a poor diet.
Again, the connection is tentative. Researchers admit that drinking high amounts of coffee for the short term can be beneficial and is, indeed, necessary for many truckers to pull through. Further research, though, may make the connection more, rather than less, clear.
Those who were injured in truck accidents through little or no fault of their own may pursue a case against the negligent trucker’s employer. In Texas, plaintiffs in personal injury cases can be eligible for damages as long as their degree of fault does not surpass the defendant’s. To ensure a fair settlement, victims may want a lawyer to handle their case.