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Truckers who rely on junk food and unhealthy snacks may be worse drivers, according to a study.

A paper published in the medical journal Occupational & Environmental Medicine looked at driving behaviours among almost 400 HGV drivers and the impact of their diet, as well as fatigue.

The authors said four dietary patterns were identified among the participants – animal-derived foods, staple foods, snacks and vegetables.

Their analysis showed that drivers with a vegetable-rich diet had more “positive driving behaviour”.

It also found that animal-derived diets had a higher rate of errors, concentration lapses and minor traffic violations and the snack diet also displayed unsafe driving behaviour.

All the drivers worked for a transport company in Suzhou, China.

“Overall, the driving behaviours of truck drivers are correlated with their dietary patterns,” the paper concluded.

“Drivers who preferred vegetables and staple foods had more positive driving behaviour, while the animal-derived food and snack patterns were related to dangerous driving behaviour.

“The experience of fatigue could explain the underlying mechanism between these factors.”