Study: Driving Dehydrated As Dangerous As Driving Under The Influence

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – You might want to make sure you’ve had plenty of water to drink the next time you get behind the wheel

According to a new study, driving dehydrated could be as dangerous as driving under the influence.

New research suggests that drivers make more than twice as many mistakes when they’re just mildly dehydrated behind the wheel.

The study showed drivers who had less than an ounce of water an hour made double the mistakes.

The study was conducted at Loughborough University in London and posted in the journal Physiology and Behaviour.

“The results of this initial exploratory study suggest that mild dehydration resulted in a significant increase in minor driving errors during a prolonged, monotonous drive, compared to that seen while performing the same task in a hydrated condition,” said Professor Ron Maughan, Emeritus Professor of Sport and Exercise Nutrition, who led the study.

Male drivers were tested over the course of two days, and were taken through a series of lab-based driving simulation tests.

One day they were given seven-ounces of water ever hour, the other day they were given less than one once.

During the normal hydration day there were 47 driving incidents, but when the men were dehydrated that number went up to 101.

Researchers say the dehydration leads to changes in mood, reductions in concentration, alertness, headache, and fatigue.

“The level of dehydration induced in the present study was mild and could easily be reproduced by individuals with limited access to fluid over the course of a busy working day,” researchers said.

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