A study conducted in Egypt has shown that almost three times as many drivers drink coffee to help them stay alert behind the wheel than use energy drinks and carbonated drinks combined. The research, conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Continental as part of its Vison Zero safety initiative, reveals how drivers turn to different types of caffeinated drinks to help them maintain concentration, but warns of the dangers of relying on certain types of beverage to enhance levels of alertness.
Of those questioned, just 19 per cent turn to energy and carbonated drinks for an energy boost, as opposed to 55 per cent who choose coffee to help them stay alert. While the most popular drink overall was tea, far fewer, 40 percent, drink tea to benefit from any extra ‘kick’ it gives them, with this figure falling to 18 percent for drinkers of Karak Chai and hot chocolate combined.
With the total number of car accidents in Egypt exceeding 14,700 in 2016, according to statistics issued by State-run Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics, the highest cause of accidents was due to human error (72 per cent). With motorists in Egypt being urged to pay extra attention behind the wheel to ensure safer driving, Continental’s survey raises questions about how a driver’s choice of drink actually helps enhance driving ability.
Speaking about the findings, Dr Dana al-Hamwi, Medical Doctor and certified Clinical Dietician, Founder of Dr Dana Diet Centre (DDDC) and a regular expert commentator on MBC TV, commented: “Studies have shown that a cup of coffee or tea can be a ‘quick-fix’ for tired drivers. But caffeinated drinks shouldn’t be relied upon to maintain focus and concentration when on the roads.”
“Caffeine has no stimulation effect on the brain. Indeed, excessive caffeine consumption can cause symptoms such as irritability, nervousness, irregular or rapid heartbeat, muscle twitching and slurred speech. At the same time, drinks that are high in sugar content can actually lead to fatigue,” Dr Hamwi continued.
Continental’s survey asked 1,014 respondents from Egypt about their habitual drink intake as well as what they felt the impact to be of not being able to consume their preferred drink. Of these, 24 per cent claimed not having their drink of choice left them tired and unfocused, with 29 per cent acknowledging they would expect to suffer headaches.
Commenting on the findings, Jose Luis de la Fuente, Managing Director of Continental Middle East, said: “There are many different elements that can play a role in road accidents, and the human factor is just one of these. This is why driver education is a key element of Continental’s Vision Zero initiative. In undertaking this study, we wanted to better understand how the effect of consuming different drinks influences drivers in Egypt.”
Vision Zero is an initiative by Continental Tyres to reach the goal of: zero fatalities, zero injuries, zero accidents.
2 September 2017