Warning issued over energy drinks & driving
The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) has warned that high energy drinks used by high mileage drivers to keep them going could lead to increased weariness behind the wheel.
An alert for those driving under caffeine intoxication has been issued by the US National Safety Commission (NSC). The warning is similar to those associated with driving under the influence of alcohol.
Research has shown that drivers can experience serious lapses in concentration and slower reaction times as caffeinated drinks begin to wear off as early as an hour after drinking. Symptoms such as irritability, irregular or rapid heartbeat, nervousness, muscle twitching and rambling speech can be caused by excessive caffeine consumption.
IAM Director of Policy and Research, Neil Greig said: “Energy drinks are good as a quick fix, but they’re no substitute for regular breaks. Having a high-caffeine drink is a one-off hit – you can’t repeat it, as this type of drink does not produce the same effect in a couple of hours’ time.”
On long drives, the IAM advises you to avoid fatigue when driving by:
- Stopping overnight on long-haul journeys
- Sharing the driving with someone else – don’t do it all yourself if you don’t have to
- Stop for a break every two hours
- Find a safe place to stop if you start to feel tired while driving, don’t rely on air con or an open window
- Only get back behind the wheel when you feel properly refreshed
Remember, tiredness can be a killer as it affects concentration and reaction times.