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Drivers urged to avoid pick-me-ups

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Long-distance motorists who use energy drinks to perk themselves up could be putting their lives and the lives of others in danger.

The Institute of Advanced Motorists (IAM) says caffinated substances could actually lead to increased weariness behind the wheel, with research showing that tired drivers can experience serious lapses in concentration and slower reaction times just one hour after consuming such a drink.

Neil Greig, IAM Director of Policy and Research, said: "Energy drinks are good as a quick fix, but they're no substitute for regular breaks. Having a high-caffeine drink is a one-off hit - you can't repeat it, as this type of drink does not produce the same effect in a couple of hours' time".

Instead of relying on such products, the IAM recommends that drivers consider stopping overnight on long-haul journeys, sharing the load with another driver, taking a break every two hours, only getting behind the wheel when properly rested and stopping immediately if feeling tired.

© Press Association 2009