Coffee helpful for long-haul truckers

Del Walters,

WASHINGTON – It seems there may be more to that morning cup of joe than just helping to keep your eyes open. That daily boost of caffeine could help save your life on the road.

According to a study reported on by The New York Times, researchers studied more than 1,000 big-rig truck drivers in Australia — half of whom had been in an accident recently and half of whom had not.

Truckers who consumed tea, coffee, caffeine tablets or energy drinks were 63 percent less likely to be involved in a crash than their non-caffeinated counterparts, researchers found.

But the study says truckers shouldn’t rely solely on caffeine:

“Our findings suggest that the consumption of caffeinated stimulant substances is associated with a significantly reduced risk of involvement in a crash for long distance drivers in Australia. While comprehensive fatigue management strategies for these drivers should consider the provision for adequate breaks and sufficient sleep and the promotion of regular exercise, the use and influence of caffeinated stimulants should be considered as an effective adjunct strategy to maintain alertness while driving.

This story has been modified to delete a paragraph discussing “drivers with a better record.”

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