Wednesday, March 20, 2013

News flash: Coffee keeps truckers awake

Here's a fresh, hot news story for all you road warriors: Coffee keeps you awake!

I know that's a hard concept to swallow, but - a well-respected medical news site - reported Tuesday morning that a study Down Under found that truckers who swigged coffee or some other caffeinated brew were safer drivers.

The authors of the study admitted this may not sound surprising, but tests on truckers in the wild apparently have been pretty rare. 

So they enrolled 530 long-haul drivers who'd had an accident between December 2008 and May 2011, as well as 517 drivers who had clean records as the control group.

Amazingly only 43 percent said they used coffee, tea or energy drinks to stay awake (and 3 percent copped to using speed or coke!) And there were some other differences, such as how much sleep the two groups averaged per night, that you can read about.

Bottom line: The caffeinated drivers had a 63 percent reduced risk of crashing. And this in a country where everybody drives on the wrong side of the road!

I'm getting ready for my fairly short drive up I-65 to Louahville, which will happen after (I hope) a good night's sleep and some fresh coffee with breakfast. But just to be safe, I think I'm gonna top off my OOIDA travel mug with some joe for the road. And keep an eye out for any wayward Aussie road trains.

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