Driving and Hydration – does drinking water make a difference?

Driving and Hydration – does drinking water make a difference?
A while ago I wrote about a slight accident I had while driving a friend’s car, entitled A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Water Cooler. The blog was all about irony, karma, call it what you will.

I’ve also mentioned day-time fatigue that’s brought on by not drinking sufficient water. You don’t need to take my word for it though, honestly; there are reams and reams of research that clearly indicate the link between performance and hydration.

More recently, I’ve been thinking about the amazing drivers on our roads (said in all seriousness, can you Adam and Eve it) ranging from delivery drivers, cab drivers, bus drivers, and couriers through to emergency services drivers and all of those in-between.

If you think about it, when you’re driving on the road you need to be at your peak, especially if you take extended trips or driving is your job! But in today’s world with more and more vehicles on the road; time being of the essence; working long hours and a number of other contributing factors affecting one’s concentration when driving; it’s not always possible to be fully alert.

But what does keeping hydrated have to do with safe(r) driving, if anything?

Well, extensive research into driving and hydration for one has shown through studies there’s a marked difference in driving performance between a hydrated and dehydrated driver.

It’s also been proven how driving and hydration are vital in reducing vehicle incidents. During this study, it became apparent that, ´… mild dehydration is equal to a 1% drop in hydration levels, the level at which the sensation of thirst is experienced. Previous studies have shown that more severe dehydration reduces cognitive performance even further, thus potentially resulting in an even higher amount of driver errors. GP studies show that up to 60% of the workforce going to work remain dehydrated throughout their working day.’

Food (or water) for thought, methinks. Perhaps it’s a good idea to ensure that you remember to drink enough water prior to setting out on the road, and not just while you’re at home, in the office, or perambulating along. Toot, toot!

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