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Driving with a hangover just as dangerous as when driving drunk

People who drive hungover show slower reaction times and make more mistakes.

A study has suggested that driving hungover is just as dangerous as driving drunk. This will come as a nasty surprise to party-goers who are hoping to drive home the morning after their Christmas and New Year’s celebrations.

Scientists have said that hungover drivers made significantly more mistakes in a 20-minute road simulation exercise. 

Chris Alford, who led the study at the University of the West of England, said the hungover drivers’ speed of reaction was slowed down, and the variability in the way they drove was a lot more “erratic”.  Mr Alford added: “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.”

The associate professor said the simulation represented a situation many people can relate to – especially now the party season is upon us. He said: “They may not aware of not driving home after a night out drinking, but we also need to advise them to plan for the next day.”

The test featured urban and rural settings which were designed to reflect a real-life situation of people driving to work the morning after a night of drinking. 

In a similar, larger Dutch study at Utrecht University, volunteers took part in a simulated one-hour motorway driving test the morning after consuming around 10 alcoholic drinks. The results showed those who drove with a hangover suffered lapses in attention and were more prone to weaving than those who had a drink-free night.

They found the participants’ driving was similar to being over the drink-drive limit


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