You may have seen the news that there is the potential for more tired truckers on Massachusetts roads these days as the federal government has waived some regulations governing trucker hours during the COVID-19 crisis. As a result, this may mean that truckers are relying on caffeine more often to stay awake behind the wheel. This could make them even more dangerous to other drivers on the road.
Study numbers are alarming
According to one study, truck drivers who drink large amounts of coffee are 6% more likely to get into a crash than other truck drivers. In general, those who consume more than five cups of caffeine each day are more likely to be in poor health and smoke than other drivers. They drink more alcohol and sleep less as high caffeine consumption is indicative of other poor health habits. However, the study just looked at the correlation between caffeine and crashes as opposed to analyzing the reasons why.
What drivers should do
Truck drivers need to strike a balance between health and staying awake. There is nothing to say that truck drivers should avoid caffeine entirely. There are definite benefits to having caffeine to get a short-term jolt. However, the problems begin when drivers are relying on caffeine as a way of life to stay awake as opposed to adopting healthy sleep habits. Caffeine should not be the sole means that drivers use to keep going.
If you have been in an accident with a drowsy truck driver, chances are that they were negligent because drowsiness slows down reaction times. Accordingly, you may merit substantial financial compensation. A motor vehicle accident attorney may help you in filing your claim with the insurance company and work to negotiate your settlement. If no agreement can be reached, the attorney may take your case to a jury in the hopes of receiving an award for damages.