Driving hungover as dangerous as being drunk - study

Hungover drivers made significantly more mistakes in a 20 minute road simulation exercise.
Photo / Thinkstock
Hungover drivers made significantly more mistakes in a 20 minute road simulation exercise. Photo / Thinkstock

A hangover is as dangerous for drivers as being drunk at the wheel, a study suggests.

The effects of a night's heavy drinking lasted even when the last alcohol had cleared the system, scientists found.

They said hungover drivers made significantly more mistakes in a 20 minute road simulation exercise.

Chris Alford, who led the study at the University of the West of England, said: "Things like their speed of reaction were slowed down. The variability in the way they drive was more erratic.

"You could say their driving was as if they were over the legal limit of alcohol, but of course they didn't have that alcohol on board any more.

"This simulation represented a situation many people can relate to. They may be aware of not driving home after a night out drinking, but we also need to advise them to plan for the next day."

In a larger Dutch study at Utrecht University, volunteers took part in a simulated one-hour motorway driving test the night after consuming about ten alcoholic drinks.

Compared with the same tests after a drink-free night, the results showed a hangover could significantly increase the lapses in attention and cause deviations or weaving.

The drivers were tested after their blood-alcohol level went back to zero, but their standard of driving was similar to being over the drink-drive limit.

- DAILY MAIL

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