Driving with a hangover is as dangerous as driving while drunk, new research has shown.
Conducted by the University of the West of England, the study found that even once alcohol had left a person’s system, the effects of a heavy night’s drinking still played a significant factor in how they drove.
In particular, drivers who were hung-over made more mistakes than those who had abstained from drinking, in a series of 20-minute road simulation tests.
This was largely due to tiredness, headaches and a general feeling of nausea and dizziness exhibited by those suffering from a hangover.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Chris Alford, who led the study, said: “Things like their speed of reaction were slowed down. The variability in the way they drive was more erratic.
“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.”
The university’s simulation involved a mix of urban and rural driving at a range of different speeds, to best capture the real life driving conditions of people heading to work the morning after a night of boozing.
The findings back those of a similar study conducted by the Dutch Utrecht University, which monitored volunteers over a one-hour simulated motorway-driving test after they had consumed ten alcoholic drinks.
That study also found that hung-over drivers made the same kind of driving errors as a driver over the legal alcohol limit, despite their blood-alcohol level having returned to zero.