Many California drivers think that if they are traveling on little or no sleep, they can always just drink some coffee or a commercial marketed caffeine pill in order to stay awake. While there is some truth to this perception, there are also some important details about what caffeine does and does not do to the body that drivers may overlook.
Unfortunately, the belief that caffeine prevents truck driver fatigue is common in the trucking industry, and many drivers might be tempted to use caffeine as an excuse to keep going when they really should stop and rest in the interest of everyone's safety.
The problem with caffeine is that it stimulates the heart and nervous system to make someone who is tired feel more awake and alert. Without the feeling of fatigue, a person may be able to get re-focused on the task at hand, including driving. So, in a sense, caffeine serves to eliminate a distraction so a person can work.
What caffeine does not do is actually make a person less tired. In other words, caffeine cannot replace the effects of proper sleep on a body. In fact, caffeine often makes it more a difficult for a person who really needs the rest to actually fall asleep.
The best way for a tired truck driver to prevent a truck accident is to observe the government's rest rules and, even if legally able to do so, not continue to drive if they see it is hard to stay awake while behind the wheel. Drivers who do not do this risk causing serious injuries to other motorists and should be prepared to pay compensation for those injuries.