Driving hungover 'is four times more dangerous'Study shows hungover drivers take more risks

02 January 2009

Hungover drivers travelled faster in the RSA study

Hungover drivers travelled faster in the RSA study

Getting behind the wheel with a hangover is four times more dangerous than driving sober, a new study has found.

Researchers at Brunel University discovered that a poor night’s sleep, low blood sugar levels and dehydration all affect drivers’ abilities, even if they are within the legal drink-drive limit.

Students were tested on a driving simulator while sober and again while suffering a hangover for the study commissioned by RSA, the firm behind MoreThan car insurance.

Traffic violations

On average, hungover drivers travelled 10mph faster, left their lane four times as often and committed twice the number of traffic violations, such as ignoring red lights.

Graham Johnston, an underwriting director at RSA said: ‘What surprised us was that people were driving faster. The fact they were driving more erratically we'd expect. Not taking care, going through red lights, that's more alarming.’

‘When they are on a mobile phone people tend to slow down and over compensate. With this people are driving faster, breaking the speed limit and going through red lights.'

Hungover drivers

The average speed for the sober test was 32.6mph. For hungover drivers, this rose to 41.7mph.

Sober drivers committed an average of 3.9 traffic violations, while hungover drivers broke rules an average of 8.5 times.

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