Did you know that 67% of UK drivers fail to identify the key symptoms of dehydration? As providers of commercial vehicle insurance we understand the importance of remaining safe behind the wheel. That’s why we’ve put together this handy guide to inform you of the dangers of driving your commercial vehicle whilst dehydrated.
A research study conducted by Loughborough University which was published in journal Physiology and Behaviour, has revealed that dehydrated drivers can make the same number of mistakes as driving under the influence of alcohol.
What are the symptoms of dehydration?
If you drive whilst dehydrated, here are some of the symptoms you could begin to suffer:
- Muscle cramps.
- Loss of focus.
- Reduced alertness.
- Change in mood.
- Dry mouth.
- Feeling tired.
Another way is to check the colour of your wee when you go the toilet. If you find your wee is pale and clear then that’s a good sign you’re hydrated. If it’s dark yellow and cloudy, then you need to increase your water intake as you’re not drinking enough.
How can dehydration affect your driving?
You need to have full concentration whilst driving, particularly on congested road networks. Here’s how your driving can be affected:
- You could begin to drift out of the lane you’re in without realising.
- Your reaction times slow down.
- You start driving over the rumble strips that separate the lanes.
- You break too early.
Whilst these are only considered minor errors, they could potentially lead to a road accident and at worst a fatality.
Check out this useful video packed full of facts and information on the dangers of driving whilst dehydrated:
What can you do to remain hydrated behind the wheel?
Check out these simple tips to help keep you hydrated during short and long journeys:
- Hydrate before you drive. You could drink water, cordial juice or even try eating some fruit like pieces of melon.
- Aim to drink two litres of water a day.
- Carry a bottle of water around with you.
- Don’t avoid drinking water to evade toilet stops if you’re making a long journey in a hot car.
- Make sure you stop regularly for breaks at service stations.
The benefits of drinking water
Water is the most effective and cheapest drink you can have to remain hydrated. There are also many other advantages that drinking water can offer. Here are some of the benefits:
- Aiding weight loss.
- It’s a natural form of wrinkle-buster.
- Water can reduce the potential for headaches and dizziness.
- It can help to clear your skin.
- Water can help to fight infections, as it can flush bad toxins out of your body.
- Improving your concentration.
- It can provide you with an energy boost.
- Water supports your heart and keeps it working effectively.