Coffee Becomes A Morning Essential For Drivers In The UAE
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Coffee has become a basic need of modern human’s everyday life, it keeps one awake. A recent study conducted in the UAE had the figures showing that almost three times as many drivers drink coffee to help themselves keep their eyes on the road. The research was conducted by YouGov and commissioned by Continental, this was in support to the Vision Zero safety initiative. The purpose of the survey was to reveal how drivers turn to different types of caffeinated drinks to help them maintain concentration, but also one must be aware of the dangers of relying on one particular drink for alertness.
The survey showed that just 16 percent preferred an energy drink for kick starting their morning, whereas 46 percent who choose coffee to help them stay alert. The overall winner was tea, and even less 39 percent drink tea to benefit from any extra ‘kick’ it gives them. To boost their level of alertness the rest 13 percent of respondents choose carbonated beverages, and further on this figure rising to 17 percent and 24 percent for drinkers of hot chocolate and Karak Chai respectively.
Road safety is one of the topmost concerns in the UAE, with recent figures from the Ministry of Interior and National Transport Authority showing that 725 people lost their lives on the country’s roads in 2016. The likelihood of crashes is increased due to poor concentration, inattentiveness and tiredness noted the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority. The survey held by Continental was to raise questions about how a driver’s choice of drink actually helps enhance their driving ability.
Speaking about the findings, Dr. Dana Al-Hamwi, UAE-based Medical Doctor and DHA-certified Clinical Dietician, Founder of Dr. Dana Diet Centre (DDDC) in Dubai Healthcare City, she is a regular upon mbc and Dubai 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 Al-Hamwi continued.
Pondering at the research results Continental Middle East and Dr Al-Hamwi have come up with the following top-ten health and nutrition tips to help provide drivers with a safer driving experience:
1) Drink water that is enough to boost the electrical energy in the brain for entire body functions
2) Stay away from snacks with high salt or sugar content
3) Eat regular meals and consume fruit and vegetables
4) Avoid fast food and sugary drinks
5) Avoid medications that cause drowsiness
6) Chew gum to help increase focus on the road and reduce tension
7) Smaller healthy snacks are better than big meals
8) Have healthy snacks including carrots, celery, grapes, cheese sticks and grilled chicken strips
9) Follow your body clock and stop for a break on long trips
10) Make sure to allow fresh air to circulate inside the car cabin
The survey consisted of asking 1,002 UAE respondents about their habitual drink intake patterns as well as what they felt the impact to be of not being able to consume their preferred drink. Of these, 27 percent claimed not having their drink of choice left them tired and unfocused, with 24 percent acknowledging it negatively impacted their levels of concentration.
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 the UAE.”
As a frontrunner in automotive technological advancements and road safety, Continental is a dedicated advocate for greater safety on the roads - the company’s global Vision Zero initiative aims to totally eradicate road accidents and achieve Zero fatalities, Zero injuries and Zero accidents on the roads. The survey was commissioned by Continental as part of its approach to delivering Vision Zero through enhancing drivers’ knowledge, attitude, and awareness.