Caffeine No Magic for Preventing Georgia Trucking Collisions


1402531_morning_coffee.jpgTruck drivers spend hours a day on the road moving goods from place to place. Unfortunately, the monotony of the trip coupled with long hours can result in drivers getting drowsy and even dozing off. This is extremely dangerous, as a truck driver who falls asleep behind the wheel could cause a serious or even deadly crash.

Our Atlanta truck accident attorneys know that there are rules in place intended to limit the number of hours drivers work in order to prevent accidents caused by fatigue. A new study also shows that something besides simply limiting drive time could play an important role in preventing truck accidents.

Coffee To Fight Fatigue
It should come as no surprise that coffee keeps people awake and that caffeine is a stimulant. However, it may be surprising to some to realize just how big of an impact caffeine can make on preventing truck accidents that occur due to fatigue.

According to Edmunds.com, a new study was conducted by an Australian researcher named Lisa Sharwood who works at the George Institute for Global Health. Sharwood’s study revealed that consuming a drink with caffeine in it could reduce the risk of a long-haul truck driving crash by as much as 63 percent.

This is obviously a dramatic decrease in the accident risk for a truck driver who is traveling long-distances. As a result of the major decrease, Sharwood indicates that the use of caffeine should be part of a wider strategy. Caffeine alone is not a “silver-bullet” solution to keeping the roads safe, but it can work in conjunction with drive-time limits in order to help ensure that drivers don’t dose off as they are operating their vehicles.

The Dangers of Drowsy Driving Crashes
Drive time limits that set the maximum number of hours a trucker can drive are one part of the effort to curb drowsy driving crashes but these limits alone are not enough. Even a driver who takes sufficient breaks could still become tired, especially if he didn’t get a good night sleep on his rest period for whatever reason.

Any efforts to stop drivers from falling asleep should be considered because a drowsy driving crash can have such serious consequences. A driver who doses off for even a second could veer into the wrong lane and cause a head-on crash. The driver could also drive off the side of the road or into cars that are traveling next to him. A sleepy driver is also less likely to slow down, which would at least reduce the force of impact.

But relying on coffee instead of common sense and a good night’s rest is a real good way to increase the risk of a crash. These vehicles are already a risk to other drivers forced to share the road. Ensuring a well-rested, professional driver is at the wheel is the minimum that should be expected when it comes to safety.

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About Steve Wisebram

At Finch McCranie, LLP, Steven R. Wisebram focuses his practice of law on serious personal injury cases and business litigation. Over the last 35 years, he has amassed significant civil and criminal trial experience during his career, which provides his clients a distinct advantage in both the courtroom and in negotiations. Beginning in 2005, Mr. Wisebram has been selected to Georgia’s Super Lawyers list.

Before becoming a partner with Finch McCranie, LLP, Mr. Wisebram served in several attorney positions with the federal government. He began his legal career in 1977 as legal counsel to a Congressional Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. In 1980 he served as an Assistant United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia for almost seven years. For the last three years of that position, he also served on the United States Department of Justice’s Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force.

Mr. Wisebram is licensed in the District of Columbia and the state of Georgia. He is admitted to practice before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Eleventh Circuit.

He is a graduate of Harvard University and Emory Law School.