Driving while dehydrated can be a serious problem, especially when you consider the blistering summer days we endure here in Australia. Sadly, some drivers still don’t like to take on liquids during long journeys. This is usually to avoid having to take comfort breaks! Hopefully, such short-sighted thinking can be reduced.
The dangers of driving while dehydrated
A few years ago, a university in the UK undertook an exercise to test the effects of dehydration on driving. Using driving simulators, a group of male drivers were tested when they were effectively hydrated. The same group undertook the same tests again when slightly dehydrated.
The result was that twice as many errors were made during the second series of tests compared to the first. Concentration levels were reduced, reaction times were slower, and their recall was impaired. There were also negative effects on the mood of the tested drivers.
The importance of proper hydration when driving
The test mentioned above highlights some effects of driving while dehydrated. Other studies have found that the condition increases inattention and fatigue. This can lead to errors in maintaining a safe distance and the positioning of a vehicle (to avoid lane wandering or veering).
So, being hydrated helps keep you alert. This means you’re better equipped to respond to poor or selfish driving behaviours of other road users. Yes, for long journeys, you might need a bathroom break or two, but exiting your vehicle, moving around and getting a little exercise as you take these breaks also helps to refresh your mind and body.
Of course, accidents do still happen
Being fully alert cannot always protect you from the poor driving habits of other people. But did you know this fact? Imagine you are the victim of a not your fault accident. Your car is damaged and needs attention at a repair shop. Under Australian Law, you are entitled to a replacement courtesy car, similar to your own in size. Therefore, you can carry on with your daily life.
So, if you are the victim of an accident where you were not to blame, call 1800699034 and talk to our helpful Not My Fault team.