Truck accidents are not uncommon in Pennsylvania, and sometimes, it’s the trucker who is at fault. Negligence can come in various forms, and according to a new study published in the journal Safety Science, truckers may put themselves and others at a higher risk if they habitually drink lots of coffee.

The study focused on some 3,000 truck drivers from eight states who reported that they drink either one cup of coffee a day or more than five cups a day. In response to the question of whether they were in a crash in the previous three years, 21.6% of the low coffee drinkers and 27.8% of the high coffee drinkers answered with a yes.

In addition to this 6% difference, researchers discovered that the high coffee drinkers experienced worse physical health overall. Many in this group admitted that they get poor sleep, have an unhealthy diet, smoke and tend to drink more alcohol. Of course, whether the poor health and increased crash risk are really caused by higher coffee consumption can be debated.

Researchers themselves say that further studies must be done. However, this study is perhaps the first on a large scale to analyze drivers’ actual caffeine-consuming habits. Previous studies have only focused on the effects of caffeine in a purely laboratory setting.

Regardless of what causes truckers’ poor sleep, it’s negligent behavior to drive while drowsy. Those who cause truck crashes because of drowsy or inattentive driving can be held liable for the other side’s injuries. Victims may want to have a lawyer assist them with the filing and, moreover, with the settlement negotiations since trucking companies can be aggressive in denying payment or forcing victims to agree to a low-ball settlement. The lawyer may even bring in third parties to gather the necessary evidence.