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DO drink water and drive!

Published on Wednesday 04 October 2017 in Van News

DO drink water and drive!

A study has found that drivers who consume just a sip of water (25ml) per hour will make double the number of mistakes than someone who is properly hydrated. Vanarama's Tom Roberts reports.

It's a simple rule: don't drink and drive. This is especially true of alcohol, but when it comes to water the rule is definitely DO drink and drive – the results of not drinking enough water could be just as bad as if you had been drinking alcohol.


Drier than the data

A study, funded by the European Hydration Institute and carried out by Loughborough University discovered some facts about driving while dehydrated that are just a little worrying:

  • The errors made by a dehydrated individual were THE SAME as someone with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% – the current drink-drive limit.
  • Common mistakes made by dehydrated drivers included late braking, drifting within a lane and crossing lane lines – all very dangerous lapses in driving behaviour.

These scary potential errors are compounded even further when you take into account the results of a survey carried out by Leasing Options, which revealed that around two thirds of drivers in the UK fail to recognise the key symptoms of dehydration. In addition to this 58% of drivers don't do anything to prevent dehydration, so if we can't even recognise when we're dehydrated, and if we do we don't actually try and combat it, what are our chances of driving safely?


Simple tips make hydration easy

Carry a bottle of water with you: a 2013 study by two universities revealed that people who consumed a pint of water before carrying out mental tasks had reaction times that were 14% faster than those who did not have a drink.

Drink the daily recommended amount of water (2 litres, or 3.5 pints): almost two thirds of people drink less than the daily recommended amount of water per day, with almost 20% drinking less than half than the required amount.

So, the advice is simple, DO drink water before you drive and your mental reaction times will be 14% faster – you'll also be safer.