Dehydrated drivers make as many mistakes as drink drivers

Failing to drink enough water can be as bad as drink driving reports scientists.

A study carried out by Loughborough University revealed that mild dehydration can cause drivers to make double the amount of mistakes as when they are properly hydrated.

The university carried out tests on male drivers using a simulator over two days. Each volunteer drank 200ml of water every hour on the first day and just 25ml every hour the following day.

During the first day there were 47 driving incidents, but when the men were dehydrated that number more than doubled to 101. These errors included lane drifting, late braking and touching or crossing the rumble strip or lane line.

Professor Ron Maughan, who carried out the study said: “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. There is no question that driving while under the influence of 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.”

68 percent of all vehicle crashes in the UK are caused by driver error, so dehydration could be a major cause of these accidents. Dehydration can cause a lack of concentration, headaches, fatigue as well as a loss of alertness which could have a major affect on your driving.