A study recently conducted by Australian researchers claims that tractor-trailer and other long-haul truck drivers who consume caffeinated beverages are much less likely to be involved in a crash than drivers who refrain from ingesting the stimulant. As part of the study, researchers reportedly analyzed recent crash data obtained from 530 truck drivers and compared the information with facts collected on 517 big rig drivers who were not involved in a collision within the previous year. The study authors then interviewed each driver to learn more about their lifestyle and driving habits and adjusted the data to account for factors such as age, driver experience, and sleeping habits.
According to results published in the journal BMJ, 43 percent of truck drivers used caffeinated beverages to stay awake on the road. Additionally, those who ingested caffeine were reportedly as much as 63 percent less likely to be involved in a wreck than other semi drivers. Despite the study results, lead author Lisa N. Sharwood cautioned that consuming caffeinated drinks does not guarantee road safety. She said the beverages are useful as part of an overall driving strategy, but should be viewed in conjunction with a truck driver’s overall health and fatigue levels.
Data from the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) states that about 10 percent of the nearly 34,000 Americans killed in a traffic crash in 2009 died in a wreck that involved a commercial truck. Only about 15 percent of those killed were driving or riding as a passenger in the truck. In addition, approximately 74,000 people across the country were hurt in a collision with a big rig or other large truck during the same year. According to the FMCSA, about seven percent of tractor-trailer and other commercial truck drivers were speeding at the time of a fatal collision. Meanwhile, an estimated six percent reportedly failed to maintain their lane or were distracted and about three percent had alcohol in their system when a deadly accident occurred.
If you were hurt or a loved one was killed in a wreck with a semi-truck, you may be entitled to recover compensation for your harm or loss. You should give the hardworking attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. a call at (312) 475-9596 to discuss your rights. Our caring Chicago personal injury lawyers are available 24 hours per day, seven days of the week to help you file your case. For a free consultation with a capable advocate, please contact Abels & Annes, P.C. through the law firm’s website.
Drivers More Likely to be Distracted by Cell Phones in Chicago and Throughout U.S., Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 24, 2013
Self-Driving Cars May Reduce Negligent Auto Accidents in Illinois and Nationwide, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, March 21, 2013
Caffeine May Boost Driver Safety, by Nickolas Bakalar, New York Times
Use of caffeinated substances and risk of crashes in long distance drivers of commercial vehicles: case-control study, by Lisa N. Sharwood, Jane Elkington, Lynn Meuleners, Rebecca Ivers, Soufiane Boufous, and Mark Stevenson, BMJ (19 March 2013)