Tuesday 12 December 2017

How you're dangerous if you drink - and even if you don't

Dehydration can affect your driving
Dehydration can affect your driving
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

IT is the ultimate irony. If you don't drink enough (water that is) you are likely to drive as badly as if you've consumed too much (alcohol that is).

New research has come up with evidence that shows dehydrated drivers made the same number of mistakes as those on the drink-drive limit.

It found that those who took just 25ml of water an hour made twice as many mistakes as those who drank enough liquid.

The Loughborough University research, published in the Journal of Physiology and Behavior, found the poorer levels of driving in those who were only 'mildly dehydrated'.

The findings prompted Professor Ron Maughan, an expert on sport and exercise nutrition, to claim that driver dehydration is an 'unrecognised danger'.

He said motorists should be 'encouraged' to ensure they are properly hydrated, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The researchers say not having enough water can mean reduced concentration, alertness and short-term memory.

In tests using simulators, experienced motorists drove one day with enough water and the next with far less.

With normal hydration they made an average of 47 errors. With dehydration that went to 101. That's the same level for those either sleep deprived or at the drink-drive limit.

What do you think? ecunningham@independent.ie

Irish Independent

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