Want to be a safe driver? Then drink (water) before you drive

Want to be a safe driver? Then drink (water) before you drive

A study shows that people who are dehydrated make as many errors behind the wheel as drink drivers. Yet a more disturbing figure emerges from the research

What causes car accidents? The question is prompted by a new study conducted at Loughborough University which shows that being dehydrated can induce as many driving errors as being drunk at the wheel. “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,” Ron Maughan, emeritus professor of sport and exercise nutrition at Loughborough, told the Daily Telegraph.

Maughan set up an experiment in which normally hydrated and dehydrated people drove in a simulator for two hours. The normally hydrated drivers made an average of 47 errors; the dehydrated drivers 101 errors. Thus the dehydrated drivers made more than twice the number of errors of normally hydrated drivers – a failure rate similar to drink drivers. What the results tell me, though, is that even normally hydrated drivers don’t drive very well: 47 errors is a lot over two hours. I went to a conference on autonomous cars recently. Manufacturers argued that well over 90% of accidents are caused by human failure – hence the need, they said, for self-driving cars, which would save thousands of lives.

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Source: Guardian Transport

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