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While coffee can give truck drivers in West Virginia a short boost of attention, it appears that drinking a lot of it can cause them to get in an accident. It may also be linked to poorer overall health and inadequate sleep.

A study analyzed two groups of truck drivers: those who drink one cup of coffee a day, and those who drink over five cups of it a day. A total of 3,007 drivers from eight states were chosen for the study because they could fit into one of these two groups. Researchers found that 21.6% of low coffee drinkers were in a crash in the previous three years while 27.8% of high coffee drinkers admitted to crashing.

The high coffee drinkers also reported having poor sleep, diet and overall health. The drivers in this group tended to smoke and drink more alcohol, too. All truckers involved in the study were assured that their answers would not be shared with their employers, so the study can be said to accurately reflect drivers’ experiences even though it relied on self-reporting. Still, researchers admit that they only found an association, not necessarily a cause-effect relationship. Further research will need to consider variables like drivers’ caffeine consumption levels on work days and days off.

Many truck accidents are caused by negligence on the trucker’s part. Truckers often drive while drowsy, distracted or impaired by alcohol or drugs. Occupants of other vehicles who are injured in such an accident might want to have the assistance of an attorney when seeking compensation for their losses.