One could very easily argue that caffeine is the most popular drug used in the United States. While people do consume quite a bit of alcohol, countless people consume caffeine through coffee, soda, tea and energy drinks. There are also effectively no restrictions that limit consumers’ use of caffeine.
Those who do not have enough time in their schedule to get adequate sleep often count on caffeine to keep them awake and fully functional. Unfortunately, the ways that people in the United States use caffeine can actually increase everybody’s risk for serious crashes.
Overconsumption leads to jitteriness and energy crashes
The way that caffeine affects the human body is cyclical. At first, it creates an increase in energy and focus. However, as the body breaks down the caffeine, people often experience a slump in energy levels and in mood. Especially if someone consumed a large amount of caffeine all at once to stave off extreme exhaustion, the comedown could leave them in a compromised state. Additionally, too much caffeine can make people jittery, anxious and overreactive. Those who have too much caffeine in their bloodstreams might drive more aggressively than they should or move too frenetically while in control of a vehicle, possibly leading to unsafe maneuvers.
People use it to mask alcohol impairment
There is a popular urban legend that having a cup of coffee or other caffeinated beverage after drinking will help someone sober up enough to get home safely. Unfortunately, despite how much faith people put in that myth, the truth is that caffeine does not reverse the effects of alcohol but may merely temporarily cover up the worst signs of impairment. Consuming caffeine may make people feel like they can drive themselves home when they have had too much to drink, which could internally to a preventable drunk driving collision.
Like many other chemical compounds, used responsibly and in moderation, caffeine is largely beneficial, but unsafe use can endanger not just an individual but also others whom they encounter in traffic. Learning more about how caffeine correlates with major collisions can help those hoping to maximize their safety when operating motor vehicles.