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Type: Report
Title: Review of the literature on coffee stops as a road safety measure
Author: Wundersitz, L.
Baldock, M.
Publisher: Centre for Automotive Safety Research
Issue Date: 2008
Series/Report no.: CASR Report Series: CASR041
ISBN: 9781920947446
ISSN: 1449-2237
Organisation: Centre for Automotive Safety Research (CASR)
Statement of
LN Wundersitz, MRJ Baldock
Abstract: Caffeine is a widely available mild stimulant thought to promote alertness. It has been suggested that the consumption of caffeine could be promoted at designated ‘coffee stops’ by the side of the road in rest areas. However, there is some concern that coffee stops might encourage driving when a driver should be resting. Although such roadside initiatives have been operating in Australia and overseas for many years, there are few quantitative evaluations examining the road safety benefits of such programs. Based on empirical research evidence, there is some support for the provision of coffee at roadside rest stops to temporarily alleviate fatigue when driving. However, the combination of drinking caffeine (approximately two cups of coffee) and napping (i.e., 15 minutes) during a break appears to be more beneficial than caffeine alone. Therefore, to enhance the beneficial effects of coffee stops, drivers feeling fatigued should be encouraged to take a 10 to 15 minute nap and to consume coffee. However, even though caffeine has a beneficial effect in alleviating fatigue, these effects are only temporary, lasting for about two hours. Consequently, caffeine alone should not be promoted as a substitute for sleep.
Keywords: Caffeine
Human fatigue
Appears in Collections:Aurora harvest
Centre for Automotive Safety Research reports

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