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Study: dehydrated drivers just as mistake-prone as drunk drivers

A new study has been released about dehydrated driving -- yes, you read that right -- and the results show that driving while you are dehydrated leads to a similar mistake rate to drivers who are under the influence of alcohol.

According to the study, a dehydrated driver will make twice as many mistakes on the road as a hydrated driver. A driver with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 will have the same mistake rate as a dehydrated driver (when compared to a hydrated driver). So what constitutes "dehydrated?" It is suggested that anyone consume 6.8 ounces of water per hour to stay hydrated. For the purposes of this study, the dehydrated drivers were limited to 0.8 ounces of water per hour.

While this is certainly an interesting study, it shouldn't undermine the severity of drunk driving. Obviously no one should get behind the wheel when they have had alcohol, even if they don't "feel" drunk. You could still have a BAC of 0.08 or greater even if you feel fine.

But what this study does show is that there are plenty of other behaviors or physical effects that can take hold of a driver that are as dangerous as drunk driving -- and yet drunk driving is singled out with severe consequences for those who do it.

What about driving while you're drowsy or sleepy? What about driving when you are under the effect of a prescribed medication? What about driving while you are sick? What about driving while you have a minor injury (such as a sprained ankle or knee)? These things make a driver less effective, and in some cases, the effects from these conditions aren't even perceptible by the individual.

Source: Inquisitr, "Dehydrated Drivers As Bad On The Road As Drunk Drivers, Study Suggests," Tara West, April 19, 2015

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