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Caffeine: Is it a fix for sleepiness behind the wheel?

| Jun 16, 2021 | Car Accidents |

Driver fatigue is a real problem that may lead to motor vehicle collisions. For truck drivers, the risk of fatigue is high, because they work long hours and often have to meet tight deadlines.

Even though they are required to rest, driving for many hours on end can quickly lull someone to sleep. How can they prevent a truck crash if they’re feeling tired? Many turn to caffeine.

Caffeine: Is it a fix for sleepiness behind the wheel?

Caffeine is one option for drivers who are feeling tired behind the wheel, but that’s with some caveats. To start with, caffeine acts quickly, usually within a half hour to an hour. For someone who is just starting to feel a little drowsy, drinking caffeine might be enough to boost their energy levels long enough to pull over or find a rest stop safely.

That being said, caffeine is not the perfect solution for everyone, because every person’s body has a different tolerance level. Some people will need to drink much more caffeine than others to achieve the same effects.

Caffeine also has some side effects that may impact driving, so it’s not always a good choice. Drinking too much caffeine may lead to jitteriness or a crash that leaves the person more exhausted than before. Caffeine can also lead to anxiety attacks, may increase blood pressure and may interfere with the driver’s actual sleeping period, which means that they may not get enough sleep when they’re supposed to be resting.

What should drivers do when they feel tired or drowsy behind the wheel?

If drivers are feeling tired behind the wheel, it’s in their best interests, as well as the interests of those around them, for the drivers to pull over when it’s safe to do so. If the destination is nearby, stopping for a short break to get some coffee or a caffeinated beverage may help wake them up enough to arrive safely before getting the rest they need.

If the destination is far off, then drivers should take a break. Getting at least a 20-minute nap may help them drive more safely and avoid crashes with others.

Truck crashes are often caused by fatigue. If you’re hit by a driver who fell asleep behind the wheel or who was drowsy and distracted, then it’s important to get to know your legal rights.