Most people are familiar with the dangers of drinking and driving. The same holds true for distracted driving. But now, it may be time to pay attention to something else: dehydrated driving. This may sound silly, but a recent study proves that dehydrated driving can increase the chance of a motor vehicle accident.
A study out of the United Kingdom examined this concept, reporting the following:
“Researchers at Loughborough University carried out a range of tests over two days on male drivers, using a laboratory-based driving simulator. During the normal hydration test there were 47 driving incidents, but when the men were dehydrated that number more than doubled to 101 – a similar number to what might be expected of someone driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These included lane drifting, late braking, and touching or crossing the rumble strip or lane line.”
In today’s day and age, there is no gray area regarding the dangers of drinking and driving. But this study shows that drivers should also be aware of their level of hydration while behind the wheel. If the outcome of this study is accurate, staying hydrated could be the difference between remaining safe on the road and causing an accident. If there are any additional follow-ups to this research study, we will be sure to bring you the results.
Recognizing the Warning Signs of Dehydration
Unlike with drinking and driving, you might not even be aware that you are, or on the verge of being dehydrated. It can be helpful to know what the warning signs of dehydration are:
- Intense thirst
- Dark yellow urine
- Overly tired
- Dry mouth or lips
- Less frequent of urination
- Inability to produce tears
- Frequent muscle cramps
- Feeling lightheaded
These symptoms could indicate dehydration. Learning to recognize these signs, while also making an effort to increase hydration can help you prevent an accident from dehydration.
While it may be difficult to determine if you are dehydrated when driving, a general rule should be to avoid driving, when you are not feeling well. Whether your increased thirst or dry mouth and lips is from dehydration or any other cause, it is best to seek medical care and avoid getting behind the wheel.
Avoiding Other Behaviors That Could Increase Car Accident Risk
Dehydrated driving is not the only medical risk that could increase your chances of being in, or causing, a car accident. Some medical conditions, like chronic migraines or narcolepsy, could also pose a risk to drivers. Additionally, some drivers may take frequent medications, which can reduce reaction time and increase risk.
It is always a good idea to know how a medical condition, or medication, impairs you, before getting behind the wheel. Losing consciousness or being distracted can lead to severe car accidents.
Were You In a Car Accident? Find Our Your Options
Were you or a loved one involved in a car accident? Once you receive medical care, consider reaching out to a car accident lawyer. A lawyer can help you find out your options, while also assisting you with filing a claim. Car accidents often lead to expensive medical bills and time off of work. A lawyer can help you consider any options that might be available for compensation.