Can coffee improve driving safety?
Life is short. Buy the shoes, quit your job, skip this month’s rent, take a road trip, have that cup of coffee. Hell, have two or three and keep them coming. As if it’s built into our DNA, people these days have an ongoing affair with the car and the great open road. What with all the excitement of getting there though, we don’t always take the time to stop and get the rest we need while on the road. But hold onto your hats, because a recent study shows that caffeine will not only give us the little boost of energy we’re looking for but can actually make us better drivers.
A study by the Centre for Sleep Research at the University of South Australia found that there are links between consuming caffeine and improved driving performance. Through this study, researchers found driving errors to be reduced when participants were chewing caffeinated gum.
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From bus drivers to long-haul truck drivers, to delivery drivers and more, this study’s goal was to explore the possibilities of caffeine as a potential aid for those whose work depends on operating a vehicle. The last thing we want is for our main lines of transportation to be falling asleep at the wheel. Driving long and late hours calls for options to make that ride as safe as possible – for both yourself and everyone else on the road at the same time.
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Others have previously researched this, too. According to other Australian researchers, after adjusting for age, driving experience, distance driven, hours of sleep, naps, night driving and other various factors, it was reported that drivers who consumed caffeine were 63% less likely to be involved in a crash. The data was evaluated based on 530 drivers recently involved in a crash compared to 517 who had not had an accident in the past 12 months. All were driving tractor units with one, two, or three trailers.
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Important to note: Caffeinated drinks are being used all over the world to help people push through their days and stay awake, however, this does not mean they are the answer to road safety, and it absolutely does not sober you up if you've been drinking. Our bodies still need proper rest, but when you’re in a pinch, remember that caffeinated gum only takes 10 minutes to kick in and the effects can last for up to an hour and a half. The only question that remains… is it available in your favorite java flavor?
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