Truckies who use caffeine less likely to crash: report

A study has found that long-distance truckies who use caffeine to stay awake are less likely to have an accident.

The report was conducted over three years to 2011 and involved more than 1000 drivers from NSW and Western Australia.

It found that drivers who consumed caffeine were 63 per cent less likely to crash.

Researchers found that 43 per cent of drivers were using stimulants such as tea, coffee, energy drinks and caffeine tablets to manage fatigue.

Lead author of the report Lisa Sharwood, from the George Institute for Global Health said the use of such measures should be used sparingly.

“This may seem effective in enhancing their alertness, but it should be considered carefully in the context of a safe and healthy fatigue management strategy,” she said.

“Energy drinks and coffee certainly don’t replace the need for sleep.”

A report earlier this year found that while truck crashes are decreasing in NSW,  an alarming surge of heavy vehicle accidents in both Queensland and Western Australia.

The NTARC report attributes the rising accident rate on the increase in road transport necessitated by the booming mining industry, the ABC reports.

Queensland’s Bruce Highway is the worst culprit, struggling to keep up with the large numbers of heavy vehicles using the road.

Although extensive roadworks are underway, critics say there are not enough overtaking lanes or rest areas.

The NTARC report goes beyond pinning the accidents to poor road conditions and names driver fatigue as another factor.

The research incorporated the analysis of driver’s log books in order to assess if ‘over-work’ affected fatigue and crashes.


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