Research: Does Driving + Caffeine = Crash

Research Paper Title

Use of Caffeinated Substances and Risk of Crashes in Long Distance Drivers of Commercial Vehicles: Case-control Study.

Study Question

Is there an association between the use of substances containing caffeine and the risk of crash in long distance drivers of commercial motor vehicles?

Summary Answer

Consuming caffeinated substances for the purpose of staying awake while driving can significantly reduce the risk of a crash.

What is Known and What this Paper Adds

Long distance drivers of commercial vehicles are at considerable risk of daytime fatigue and are known to use stimulants and substances containing  caffeine to stay awake. The effectiveness of caffeine for enhancing alertness during monotonous task performance has previously been demonstrated in laboratory and driving simulator settings. After adjustment for possible confounding factors, consumption of caffeinated substances to assist driving alertness was associated with a reduced risk of crashing among long distance commercial motor vehicle drivers.

Source: BMJ 2013;346:f1140.

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