Is it really useful to drink a coffee to fight against fatigue at the wheel? This is what the Prévention Routière association wanted to know.
We know, the somnolence driving is still one of the main causes of accidents and deaths on the roads of France. And yet, many French people still take the wheel, despite the fatigue. Whether it is due to a long journey without taking breaks, a long day at work or an overly rich meal, it always manifests itself in the same way and is therefore extremely dangerous. If it can obviously happen at any time, certain hours are particularly favorable to its appearance, and in particular at night between midnight and 6 a.m., as well as in the afternoon, between 2 and 4 p.m. Suffice to say that it is better to be extra vigilant at this time, when drowsiness is directly involved in 85% of fatal accidents on our roads. To spot a bout of fatigue, it suffices to rely on certain easily recognizable symptoms, such as heavy eyelids, lack of concentration or the irrepressible urge to be agitated, not to mention the symptoms. yawning.
To fight against fatigue at the wheel, particularly in this period of great departures, several solutions exist, but the most reliable is quite simply to stop to rest. A break every two hours allows you to start again on the right foot, the ideal being to take a nap if possible. Of course, many drivers also flock to the cafe to stay awake. If this trick has been known to everyone for a long time, is it nevertheless reliable? This is the question that theRoad Safety Association, who decided to investigate to find out. Three groups of people who drank different types of drinks were therefore tested on a driving simulator, under different road conditions. The first had ingested a caffeinated drink, the second had tasted a double espresso while the third had taken a decaffeinated espresso. Sensors then had to analyze the reactions of the drivers as well as the signs of distraction and drowsiness, day or night, in the dry or in the wet.
A clear result
And the result is final, since the association emphasizes that the café like other caffeinated drinks have a real positive impact on reducing drowsiness at the wheel. According to Prévention Routière “ coffee and other caffeinated drinks help fight drowsiness and loss of alertness associated with long, monotonous motorway journeys “. The results also indicate that by drinking coffee, the participants had almost no period of micro-sleep during the two-hour simulator test. You should know that four seconds of micro-sleep is equivalent to a 15-meter journey if you are traveling at 130 km / h. The risk of accident is therefore very high, and coffee significantly reduces this risk. However, according to the association, caffeine would not be the only element to be taken into account in this result, and it would also be interesting to analyze the different molecules that make up this drink in detail. Perhaps we will learn new things about our anti-fatigue ally!
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Anti-drowsiness alarm: how does it work?