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Road Crash Analyst says energy drinks has some negative effects on ability to drive

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Mr. Tonny Dickson Afriford, Executive Director of the Global Road Safety Media Foundation, has revealed that energy drinks have certain harmful impacts on one’s ability to drive and has warned drivers not to consume them.

He specifically warned drivers who set out on long-distance drives with the mistaken belief that drinking energy drinks keep them energetic throughout the journey.

Mr. Afriford, who is also a road collision expert, stated that for road safety, every driver should take a 30-minute break after every four hours of driving.

He noted that some drivers, however, develop the false confidence to drive for lengthy periods of time without resting after consuming caffeine-containing energy beverages.

He issued the warning while analysing data from road crashes at the Ghana News Agency Tema Regional Office and the Motor Transport and Traffic Department (MTTD) Road Safety Campaign Platform.

The road safety campaign platform aims to employ renowned persons to deliver ongoing education on the importance of road safety and to reduce road carnage.

Mr. Afriford stated, “Large and consistent consumption of energy drinks is having an effect on road safety; there is a common misconception among commercial drivers that these energy drinks boost their system and allow them to drive for long periods of time without tiring.

“We need to find out where they got their information because some people who have abused energy drinks have graduated to using other substances like mixing tramadol with drinks, inhaling petrol, or superglue to stay high and awake to drive.”

He urged stakeholders to work with the Ghana Medical Association (GMA) to educate drivers, particularly commercial long-distance drivers, on the dangers of drinking caffeinated beverages while driving.

Mr. Afriford also cautioned car owners against setting unrealistic sales goals for their drivers, as some used it as an excuse to drive even when they were weary, noting that road crash data has revealed that weariness is a key cause of crashes.

He added that drivers who were under pressure from their bosses would speed and drive recklessly, which would not only result in an increase in crashes but would also have economic consequences for the driver, the car owner, and the country.

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