A new study shows driving errors doubled when driving dehydrated

Photo of bottle of water asking GOT SAFETY _Water is a life saving tool

A new U.K. study shows that driving errors increased with dehydrated drivers. In fact, the data shows these errors doubled with problems revealing reduced concentration, alertness and judgment.

The study, conducted by Loughborough University in the U.K. and the European Hydration Institute, found that these errors occur when insufficient hydrating liquids are not consumed before getting behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Science has known for a long time that proper hydration is absolutely critical for healthy brain and body functions. Being dehydrated can affect your health in many ways, including headaches, loss of energy, fatigue, irritability, judgment, and impairment of short-term memory. It can even lead to organ failure and death.

An unrecognized risk: Study reveals that driving dehydrated can be as dangerous as driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol

Two groups participated in the study and were told how much or how little to drink the day before their driving was going to be tested. On the actual testing day, some participants were given approximately 7 ounces of water per hour, while others were given less than 1 ounce per hour.

The two-hour driving test was split into four 30-minute sections. Both groups made more and more driving errors as the test progressed, such as drifting, car wheels crossing the rumble strip or lane line, and late braking. However, the dehydrated group’s errors were consistently higher than in the hydrated group’s — 101 compared to 47, respectively.

Those that were dehydrated complained more of thirst, a dry throat, hunger, concentration and alertness.

One of the most astonishing results were that the dehydrate group’s driving performance was comparable to driving sleep deprived or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08%,  the legal driving limit in most U.S. states.

How to prevent dehydration

Remember, water composes about 60 percent of our body composition. According to the National Academy of Medicine, women need approximately 9 cups of hydrating liquids per day and men need 13 cups. These include water, juice, milk soup, healthful smoothies, coffee and tea.

There are other ways to help your body stay hydrated: eat hydrating veggies and fruits such as cucumbers, celery, bell peppers, carrots, apples, strawberries, watermelon, grapes, and pineapple.

Also, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Once you feel thirsty, dehydration is imminent or has already started.

I always drive with a bottle of water and take frequent sips. Some don’t like to drink water and drive on a long trip because they don’t want to have to stop for too many bathroom breaks. Please take the time.

A person can get dehydrated any time of the year, without knowing it, but it is especially true during the hot summer months. Please drink enough water and keep yourself healthy all the time and also when driving. Do your part to make it safe out there!

I would appreciate it if you would share this post so that others can benefit from the information. Thank you.

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Also, if you are interested, please read my other personal injury articles at http://blog.petermillerlaw.com.

 

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The content of this blog was prepared by Law Office of Peter Miller, P.A. for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to solicit business or provide legal advice. Laws differ by jurisdiction, and the information in this blog may not apply to you. You should seek the assistance of an attorney licensed to practice in your state before taking any action. Using this blog site does not create an attorney-client relationship between you and Law Office of Peter Miller, P.A. Attorney-client relationships can only be created by written contract.

Attribution: Dept. of the Interior/ http://www.misawa.af.mil/News/Photos/igphoto/2000229405/Creative Commons Attribution 2.0

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