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Studies have shown the effect that caffeine can have on drivers, but only recently has a study been conducted that explores the actual caffeine-consuming habits of drivers, in particular truck drivers. Truckers in West Virginia should know that the study focused on two types of drivers: those who drink a single cup of coffee a day, and those who drink more than five.

A total of 3,007 drivers from eight states participated in the study, which was conducted by a U.K. researcher and the Virginia Tech Transport Institute. To find out whether crash risk is affected by caffeine consumption, researchers asked the drivers whether they had been in a crash in the past three years. Among those who drink one cup of coffee, 21.6% said they had been. Among the high coffee drinkers, 27.8% said yes.

Researchers also found out that the high coffee drinkers had generally poorer health, as reflected in their unhealthy diet, smoking, higher alcohol consumption and lack of restful sleep. While this and the increased crash rate have not been definitively linked to the habit of excessive coffee drinking, researchers believe that future studies will only make the link clearer. These future studies will need to look at variables like the difference in caffeine intake between work days and non-work days.

When truck crashes involve a trucker who was drowsy, drunk or negligent in some other way, then the victims of those crashes may be eligible for compensation for their medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage. They might want to have a lawyer’s assistance throughout the process.