Hungover Motorists 'Just As Dangerous As Drink Drivers'

Research Conducted In Holland Has Produced Some Sobering Results


Hungover motorists just as dangerous as drink drivers

Hungover motorists just as dangerous as drink drivers

People who drive with a hangover are just as dangerous as those who get behind the wheel while drunk, new studies have shown.

Researchers at Utrecht University in the Netherlands have found that motorists who have consumed a large quantity of alcohol are putting the lives of other road users at risk the following morning.

Scientists discovered that even though there was no longer any trace of alcohol in a hungover person's system, they were still just as incapable of driving as someone who had a blood alcohol reading of 0.05.

The team asked volunteers to consume ten alcoholic drinks the night before taking a simulated driving test. Each candidate was not allowed to take part in the exam until their blood alcohol level had fallen back to zero.

Although the symptoms of a hangover vary from person to person, it was found that drivers generally displayed numerous lapses of concentration and manoeuvring deficiencies.

A second study carried out by the University of the West of England also concluded that hungover people should not be allowed to drive. Associate professor Chris Alford explained some of the findings.

"Things like their speed of reaction was slowed down, their variability in the way they drive was more erratic when they had a hangover," he was quoted by ABC as saying.

"We also found that they're making errors [on] things like crossing the central lines [and] the lane markings in the road."

Previous research has suggested British motorists have a poor attitude towards drink driving and are perhaps unaware of the potential consequences of their actions.

A report published by non-profit organisation Don't Be That Someone showed one in three people would happily accept a lift from an individual they knew to be drunk.

Numerous campaigns have been launched in order to raise awareness of the repercussions of driving while under the influence of alcohol in recent months.

Now, with the results of the latest studies from the English and Dutch universities being made available, road safety organisations are also calling for future drink-driving initiatives to focus on the dangers of operating a vehicle while hung over.

Expert Opinion
These findings that people are unsafe driving hung over is really not surprising at all. If you are unwell your mind is focused on your health or you may struggle with focusing on tasks.

“It is advised that you shouldn’t drive when stressed or upset because you make erratic decisions, the same can be said when you are hung over. You are not in full control and while you are in this state, you are a danger to yourself and to other passengers and drivers.

“However it is quite a shocking statistic that 1 in 3 people would accept a lift from an individual who is drunk. The person who is driving puts their own life at risk and yours, but the moment you accept a lift from someone who is drunk, it is you who is putting your own life in danger.

“We unfortunately come across some terrible cases involving car accidents which are drink related. Our experts have helped many people involved in car accidents to come to terms with serious life-changing brain and spinal injuries with the appropriate rehabilitation treatment and care. If statistics back up that people are not fit to drive hungover then we would welcome any campaigns supporting this subject”

Stephen Nye, Partner