Move over, white van man: Red Bull driver is the new road menace
Sunday 22 January 2006
Following a spate of cases involving erratic and dangerous driving by motorists who have downed too much caffeine, road groups yesterday issued a warning to drivers on the dangers of excess Red Bull consumption.
Andrew Howard, head of road safety for the AA Motoring Trust, said: "The message is that if you take anything as a stimulant, be it caffeine or herbal medicines, then you have got to be aware that they ultimately have an effect on you and the way you drive.
"Caffeine in sensible qualities can help drivers stay alert, but if taken to excess, like many other drugs, it can have strange effects on people."
Mr Howard was speaking after Peter Edwards, 48, received a four-month jail sentence on Friday for dangerous driving. As Edwards led police on a 50-mile car chase through Cambridgeshire and Norfolk, the pursuing officers thought they were following a drunk driver.
The motorist reached speeds of 80mph on an A-road and at one point drove straight over a roundabout. Police made an attempt to drive in front of Edwards to slow him down, but he simply veered out to overtake in front of a lorry.
When Edwards was finally stopped by officers in Swaffham, Norfolk, they discovered his bizarre driving was the result of having drunk 20 cans of Red Bull, the caffeine-rich energy beverage.
A leading expert on sleep deprivation expressed astonishment at the sheer volume of Red Bull that Edwards managed to consume. Describing the case as "rather extraordinary and unique", Professor Jim Horne of Loughborough University said: "This was 10 times more than we would recommend. It is reprehensible what he did. This was a massive amount of caffeine and it would have had an extraordinary effect on him."
However, the court was told that there were mitigating circumstances in Edwards's case. His mother had died of cancer two weeks before the chase and he had been suffering from severe depression.
Caffeine is thought to be the most widely used drug in the world. While it is rarely taken in the vast quantities consumed by Edwards, it is not unusual for drivers to drink coffee or a caffeine-based drink such Red Bull in order to stay awake. The road safety charity Brake recommends that drivers stop and drink a coffee or Red Bull if they are tired, but it is now warning that levels of intake must be controlled.
A spokes-woman for Red Bull said: "Red Bull is a functional energy drink used throughout the world, by athletes, busy professionals, active students and drivers on long journeys."
But she stressed: "Research has proven that just one or two cans of Red Bull can help alleviate the effects of tiredness. There is no added benefit in consuming the product in excessive amounts. One can of Red Bull contains the same amount of caffeine as a cup of filter coffee."
Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes
- 1 Why I'm on the brink of burning my Israeli passport
- 2 Comfortable in their own skin
- 3 Japanese plant experts produce 10,000 lettuce heads a day in LED-lit indoor farm
- 4 War is war: Why I stand with Israel
- 5 L'Oreal cuts ties with Belgium supporter Axelle Despiegelaere after hunting trip photographs
Israel-Gaza conflict: Death toll tops 125 after overnight raids as Operation Protective Edge continues
Game of Thrones author George RR Martin says 'f*** you' to fans who fear he will die before finishing Westeros saga
Ian Thorpe gay: Olympic swimmer comes out in Parkinson interview
Supermoon 2014: When and why will the moon look bigger and brighter this summer?
Gaza-Israel conflict: Pro-Palestinian demonstrators take to streets of London, Paris and New York in wave of protests
Sustained immigration has not harmed Britons' employment, say government advisers
War is war: Why I stand with Israel
7/7 memorial defaced on anniversary of 2005 attacks with ‘Blair lied thousands died’ graffiti
Australia facing international condemnation after turning around Sri Lankans at sea
Even when it brutalises one of its own teenage citizens, America is helpless against Israel
Socialist Worker called to apologise over ‘vile’ article saying Eton schoolboy Horatio Chapple's death is ‘reason to save the polar bears’
£70000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Information Security Manager (ISO 27001, A...
£30000 - £45000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Developer (...
£60000 - £80000 per annum + Benefits + Bonus: Harrington Starr: C# Integration...
£75000 - £85000 per annum + ex bens: Deerfoot IT Resources Limited: Biztalk Te...