If you are feeling tired when driving, someone might suggest you pull over for a coffee or grab an energy drink from the gas station.
There is a whole roadside industry built around keeping drivers caffeinated, yet it’s not as effective as people tend to think.
Caffeine can work as a stop-gap measure
A caffeinated drink can give you a temporary boost. It can act as a pick-me-up and increase alertness for a time. That might be all you need if you are a few minutes from home. Yet it is not the solution if you still have miles to go.
Caffeine does not resolve tiredness
These drinks can mask your tiredness momentarily, but they do not address the issue that you need to rest or sleep. One study found that truck drivers who drank large quantities of coffee (presumably because they felt it would help them stay awake) had an increased crash rate.
Think about it like this – if it were possible to take a substance that allowed you to keep on going without rest, don’t you think people would be using it? Unscrupulous companies would be feeding it to their low-paid workers to work them harder, and the military would be investing tons of money into a steady supply. Yet, people still propagate the myth that caffeine can keep you driving safely. When driving, the only answer to tiredness is to pull off the road and rest.
If you are injured by a truck or by a smaller vehicle, seek legal help to examine what the other driver did wrong. Discovering they were drinking coffee or energy drinks might suggest they were too tired to be safe.