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Danger: Driving While Dehydrated (Infographic)

Getting ready for a summer road trip? Make sure your to-do list includes information about hydration.

That’s because driving while dehydrated can be just as dangerous as driving while intoxicated, according to a new study.

“Even mild dehydration is equivalent to being over the drunk-driving limit in terms of driver errors,” according to a recent study from Loughborough University [1] in the United Kingdom.

The British study was conducted over two days with male drivers who used a simulated driving program in a laboratory. When fully hydrated, the drivers had 47 traffic incidents, but when the drivers were dehydrated, the traffic incidents spiked to 101 — more than double, according to research results.

“It doesn’t surprise me because the effects of dehydration can be serious,” says Cathy Clark-Reyes, a registered dietitian with Baptist Health Primary Care. “The more water we lose, the less mental capacity we have.”

She provides this information about the health effects of dehydration: