When you’re taking a long car trip, it can get pretty exhausting – especially if you’re alone. If you’re like most people, you probably get a quick drink of something caffeinated to rouse you when you start to get sleepy.
You may want to rethink how much you consume while driving, however. A little caffeine can be good, but too much caffeine can actually increase the chances you’ll end up in a wreck.
Studies indicate that too much caffeine is counterproductive
While a single cup of coffee or even two has been shown to increase alertness in truck drivers, studies have also shown that truckers who consume more than five or more cups a day are actually more prone to accidents – along with chronic health issues. There’s no reason to think that the same doesn’t hold true for regular drivers.
Too much caffeine can also lead to physical, emotional backlash
Caffeine has also been shown to cause all kinds of problems that can negatively affect your driving abilities. Because it’s a central nervous system stimulant, it can cause headaches and agitation, which can cause you to lose focus on your driving or make critical errors in judgment that could lead to a wreck.
There’s also such a thing as caffeine withdrawal. When you “come down” from the initial energy buzz you get off your drink, you can end up feeling even more tired than you were when you started. (For many people, this creates a vicious cycle where they use even more caffeine to get through the slump.)
The more you know, the safer you can stay out there on the road. If you are in a crash due to another driver’s mistakes, however, make sure that you find out what it takes to get fair compensation.