Dehydrated Driving As Risky As Being Drunk
It might sound odd but according to a new study being thirsty might just have an effect on your performance behind the wheel. More to the point, a lack of hydration can impair your brain, making you much more dangerous on the road, even as dangerous as if you had been drinking alcohol, the study found.
Obviously when you get dehydrated it has an effect on the brain, which is quite a watery organ. In fact it’s roughly 75% water, which means when you get dehydrated it has a detrimental effect on your poor brain. Alcohol of course has the same sort of effect on the brain, although being drunk is a different process altogether.
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According to the study by scientists at Loughborough University, even mild dehydration can have a negative effect on drivers. Testing was carried out by making sure drivers were hydrated with 200ml of water per hour prior to taking tests using a car simulator, and then afterwards giving them just 25ml of water an hour and repeating the test. Thirsty drivers made an average 101 errors during the test, while the hydrated drivers made an average of just 47.
Researchers found that when drivers hadn’t had enough water their performance was as sloppy as someone who had drunk the legal limit of alcohol. Obviously when people are ‘over the limit’ with drinking they drive far far worse, so let’s not go jumping to conclusions about dehydration. It’s not as bad as drink driving.
Study leader Professor Ron Maughan spoke out about both drink driving and dehydrated driving in a statement to The Telegraph: “We all deplore drink driving, but we don’t usually think about the effects of other things that affect our driving skills, and one of those is not drinking and dehydration.”
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“There is no question that driving while incapable through drink or drugs increases the risk of accidents, but our findings highlight an unrecognised danger and suggest that drivers should be encouraged to make sure they are properly hydrated.”
In other words, don’t get behind the wheel when you’re not feeling your best, and if you are driving, make sure to drink plenty of water, even if it means more toilet trips on a long journey. Remember, taking regular breaks from driving can prevent accidents.
Via: The Independant
Via: Daily Mail