If you drink caffeine as a way to stay alert while driving, you could be at a higher risk of getting into an accident. That is one of the takeaways of a study that analyzed crash rates among 3,000 truck drivers who operated in Texas and seven other states.

The study divided the drivers into two groups based on caffeine intake

Researchers divided the survey subjects into one group that was deemed to be high caffeine consumers and another group that was deemed to be low caffeine consumers. To qualify for the high consumption group, a driver would need to consume five cups of coffee per day. Those who were in the lower consumption group drank a single cup of coffee per day. Of the individuals who drank five cups of coffee or more per day, 27.8% had a crash in the past three years, which was roughly 6% higher than the drivers who only drank a single cup of coffee per day.

High caffeine consumption might be correlated with poor health

This study reported that truckers who consumed higher amounts of caffeine were also more likely to smoke or consume significant amounts of alcohol. They were also more likely to have poor dietary habits that could make it harder to get quality sleep on a regular basis. However, it is important to note that those who study the possible side effects of caffeine consumption say that there is no definitive link between caffeine consumption and a higher crash risk. Instead, they simply believe it’s one factor that drivers should know about.

Drinking coffee, soda or energy drinks can have positive short-term effects for drivers. Therefore, you should feel free to consume caffeine if you need it to stay awake during the final hours of your work day or whenever you feel drowsy while driving.

If motor vehicle accidents are caused by distracted or tired drivers, injured victims may be entitled to compensation for their injuries. A personal injury attorney may be able to help victims obtain a favorable outcome.