Driver Hydration Gains Global Exposure

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Driver Hydration Gains Global Exposure

In the preceding blogs we took an in-depth look at the peer-reviewed and ground-breaking Loughborough University study which aimed to explore driver hydration and the ‘effects of mild hypohydration (dehydration) on performance during a prolonged, monotonous driving task where aspects of cognition relevant to driving were likely to be challenged’. Well documented is the fact that mild dehydration (the American College of Sports Medicine quantifies this as a 1% loss in body mass) leads to impaired physical and mental performance with changes in mood state and detrimental effects on concentration, alertness and short-term memory. The study, funded in part by the European Hydration Institute, brought to light how crucial driver hydration is in reducing vehicle incidents – it is estimated that driver error accounts for approximately 68% of all vehicle crashes in the UK.

In the Loughborough study  the dehydrated drivers made 101 driver errors compared to the 47 made by the hydrated drivers, which means that a mildly dehydrated state of only 1% had dehydrated drivers make more than double the mistakes of their hydrated counterparts. The dehydrated drivers reported a 107% increase in thirst perception along with reduced concentration and levels of alertness. And even more startling was that the results of the study drew a parallel between driver hydration and driving while under the influence of alcohol or sleep deprived: ‘A similar increase in driver error rate has been observed when driving following the ingestion of an alcoholic beverage resulting in a blood alcohol content of approximately 0.08% (the current UK legal driving limit), or while sleep deprived’.

The Loughborough study gained global exposure and was shared across a wide variety of publications, from the Telegraph which ran the headline ‘Not drinking enough water has same effect as drink driving’ along with similar headlines from Men’s Journal ‘Why dehydrated driving is as dangerous as drunk driving’ and CBS Pittsburgh ‘Driving dehydrated as dangerous as driving under the influence’ to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) with its ‘Why you should drink (water) before you drive’.

Considering the findings of the study and the necessity of ensuring sufficient driver hydration, it becomes apparent how necessary the Driving Hydration solution is.

Commercial Motors, a weekly publication, ran the following article in their 10 March 2016 edition:

“Drivers urged to drink more

Concerns about an increased risk of accidents, because drivers are dehydrated has led to the launch of a campaign aimed at hauliers to ensure their workforce drink regularly.

It follows a study published last year in a medical journal that found that mild dehydration results in an increase in driving mistakes comparable to being over the drink-driving limit.

In January Driving Hydration was launched, which educates companies about the dangers and gives them free water coolers and bottles for drivers.

MD Peter Hansen said: ‘There is a particular interest in the haulage industry because the average driver’s age is 54 and from 50 the ability to detect dehydration diminishes and gets worse the older you get’.

Driving Hydration is a sister company of water cooler and dispenser dealer AquAid.”

The Driving Hydration solution includes everything transport managers and directors need to both educate transport staff about the importance of driver hydration and supply them the practical steps to remain hydrated throughout the day.

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