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Driving under the influence of . . . caffeine?

On Behalf of | Nov 24, 2021 | Car Accidents

Historically, people have equated driving impairment with drugs or alcohol. In recent years, the devastating side effects of prescriptions or strong over-the-counter medications have come to light. Unfortunately, there are other substances that might seem innocuous, but, when taken in large doses, can negatively impact a driver’s perceptions and cognitive abilities.

Drivers often rely on a quick pick-me-up in the morning or on the way home from a long shift at work. Whether it is a strong cup of coffee, an energy drink or a cold soda, individuals inevitably see other drivers on the road with some sort of beverage while behind the wheel. Unfortunately, caffeine can have a devastating effect on the body. A large coffee or big soda could have two or three times the recommended serving size.

Symptoms of too much caffeine can include:

  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Restlessness
  • Increased heartbeat

While caffeine might boost energy and improve alertness, there is a fine line between a healthy dose and too much of a good thing. Individuals who naturally suffer from anxiety, for example, are more likely to experience dramatic symptoms.

Whether it is a large coffee at a drive-thru or a bottle of soda with a breakfast pastry, experts caution drivers to be aware of the changes that can result from the overconsumption of caffeine. No matter the substance that causes the impairment, a driver who is not in full control of their perceptions, reaction times or cognitive abilities is a danger on the roads. From crowded city streets to fast-moving highways, over-caffeinated drivers can suffer challenges to their safe driving abilities. These challenges can result in devastating collisions leading to catastrophic injuries. If you were in an accident caused by an impaired driver, it is wise to explore your legal options.


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