'A hangover is as bad as being drunk'

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Hungover drivers made significantly more mistakes in a 20-minute road simulation exercise.

A hangover can be as dangerous for drivers as being drunk at the wheel.

Scientists at the University of the West of England have found that the effects of a night’s heavy drinking are still felt after the last alcohol has left your system.

Associate Professor Chris Alford, who led the study, said hungover drivers made significantly more mistakes in a 20-minute road simulation exercise.

“The variability in the way they drive was more erratic.”

“Their speed of reaction was slowed,” he said. “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.”

REAL-LIFE SITUATION

Alford said the test, in a mixed urban and rural setting, was designed to reflect the real-life situation of people going to work the day after a night of drinking.

In a larger Dutch study at Utrecht University, volunteers took part in a simulated one-hour motorway driving test the night after consuming about 10 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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