Mr. Tonny Dickson Afriford, an Executive Director of the Global Road Safety Media Foundation, has cautioned drivers against consuming energy drinks before or during long-distance driving. Speaking at the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) Road Safety Campaign Platform, Mr. Afriford, who is also a road collision expert, warned that energy drinks have harmful impacts on one’s ability to drive.
He revealed that there is a common misconception among commercial drivers that drinking energy drinks keeps them energetic throughout their journeys. However, according to him, consistent consumption of energy drinks has negative effects on road safety. For this reason, every driver should take a 30-minute break after every four hours of driving to avoid fatigue and stay safe on the road.
Mr. Afriford also urged stakeholders to work with the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to educate drivers, especially commercial long-distance drivers, on the dangers of drinking caffeinated beverages while driving. He further warned car owners against setting unrealistic sales goals for their drivers, as this often leads to drivers pushing themselves too hard and driving while tired.
Data from road crashes at the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office have revealed that weariness is a major cause of crashes. Drivers who are under pressure from their bosses to meet unrealistic targets may speed and drive recklessly, leading to an increase in accidents that can have economic consequences for the driver, car owner, and the country.
In conclusion, Mr. Afriford’s message is clear: energy drinks have harmful effects on driving ability, and drivers must avoid them while driving long distances. Moreover, commercial drivers should take a break every four hours of driving to rest and stay safe on the road. Finally, stakeholders must work with the GMA to educate drivers on the dangers of consuming caffeinated beverages while driving, and car owners must set realistic sales goals for their drivers to avoid putting pressure on them to drive while tired.