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Coffee cuts 'crash risk'

20th March 2013

Drinking coffee could help lorry drivers have fewer accidents.

Coffee

Research published in the British Medical Journal has suggested that hauliers who have a cup of coffee, or other drinks containing caffeine, reduce their risk of a crash because it probably increases their level of alertness.

However, road safety experts stressed caffeine was no substitute for sleep.

An Australian research team discovered the link when it compared 530 heavy goods vehicle drivers who had recently been in a crash with 517 who had not.

A third said they drank caffeinated drinks, with half saying they did it to try to stay awake.

Of those drivers who consumed caffeine to keep awake, 63% less likely to crash than drivers who had no caffeine.

Seven out of 10 drivers stopped for a nap when they were tired, something that road safety experts strongly recommend.

Researchers from the University of Sydney said: “The varying extent to which activities such as taking a nap, drinking a cup of coffee, or going for a short walk contribute to subsequent vigilance behind the wheel are not well understood and are therefore recommended for further study.”

A spokesman for the Department for Transport said: “Driving tired significantly increases the risk of an accident so we encourage drivers to ensure they are properly rested before climbing behind the wheel.”

 

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