Fleet News

Backing for caffeine drinks

SCIENTIFIC advice promoting the use of caffeine-based energy drinks to prevent sleepiness at the wheel has been adopted by driver training firm DriveTech (UK).

A study by the Loughborough Sleep Research Centre concluded that one can of a drink such as Red Bull can increase driver alertness during what they term 'the afternoon dip' – drowsiness between 2pm and 4pm – while two cans will stave off this effect for around 90 minutes after the drink takes effect.

DriveTech (UK) is now stocking Red Bull in its training room.

DriveTech (UK) training manager Andy Wheeler said: 'Fatigue is a major issue among under-pressure employees.

'As the Selby accident showed, a tired driver taking to the road can have tragic consequences. We would endorse the Sleep Research Centre's advice and urge company bosses, fleet managers and drivers to take it on board.

'In the pursuit of profits, too many companies are not ensuring the safety of their staff. Company bosses believe they are 'safe' but tougher enforcement of existing legislation means that Selby should act as a wake-call to every business.'

However, the sleep research centre states that 'drivers should get adequate sleep and not see functional energy drinks as a substitute for sleep'.

It also said that winding down the windows, turning up the radio and doing exercise have little effect on tiredness.

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