A cup of coffee can literally save your live when going on a long drive. Photo: shutterstock.com
A cup of coffee before long drive can save your life.

Thinking of giving up your morning cup of java for better well-being? Well pump your brakes – if you are a long distance driver there’s something you might want to know before releasing your addiction to your morning cup of Joe.

A study recently released by the British Medical Journal (BMJ) supports caffeine consumption in long distance drivers. According to the report, researchers explored the use of caffeinated substances among a large population of long distance drivers of commercial vehicles and investigated the effect of use of legal stimulants in relation to the risk of crashing.

Researchers identified drivers in New South Wales and Western Australia, mostly men, who were asked to identify characteristics such as “demographics, anthropometry, medical conditions, and drugs. Participants were also obtained information regarding health behaviors such as patterns of alcohol consumption and use of legal and illegal substances to maintain alertness.”

Other patterns were also assessed such as sleep patterns and whether a participant usually pulled over to take intermittent naps while driving to increase alertness. The results were astonishing but confirmed what most long distance drivers already believe.

Coffee while driving-iFoodTV
Have a good rest and a cup of coffee before long drive. Image courtesy of iFoodTV.

The BMJ report stated that, “…in a large population of long distance commercial vehicle drivers, the consumption of caffeinated substances for the purpose of staying awake while driving was found to significantly protect against crashing after adjustment for multiple confounders. These findings suggest that the consumption of legal stimulants such as caffeine could be of value within the context of a multi-faceted strategy to manage fatigue to reduce the propensity for crashes among long distance commercial drivers.”

So why not just get a good night’s sleep, eat well and take intermittent breaks while driving instead of running on a caffeinated high? Researchers posit, “While comprehensive fatigue management strategies for these drivers should consider the provision for adequate breaks and sufficient sleep and the promotion of regular exercise, the use and influence of caffeinated stimulants should be considered as an effective adjunct strategy to maintain alertness while driving.”

Image courtesy of Cape Cod Coffee.
Image courtesy of Cape Cod Coffee.

Basically, drivers can attempt various strategies, but these can only be more successful with the addition of caffeine. To all those truckers and midnight marauders, this cup of Joe is for you. Here’s to your good health and keeping the road safe for all of us.