Hangover? Driving worse than drunk

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 YOU'LL BE OK THE MORNING AFTER? NOT! University and other research has shown than a hungover driver with all alcohol, er, flushed can be as dangerous as a drunk at the wheel. Image: SHUTTERSTOCK ~ Shutterstock
LONDON, England - A study emanating from the University of the West of England claims driving alcohol-free but with a morning-after hangover makes you a worse driver than a drunk driver.

Hard to believe? Read on... the study' group's leader, Chris Alford, as reported in the London Daily Mail,  said: "Reaction speed was slowed - the variation in the way they drove was more erratic. You could say their driving was as if they were over the legal alcohol limit but of course they didn’t have that alcohol on board any more.
"This simulation represented a situation to which many people can relate. 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."


A hangover is as dangerous for drivers as being drunk at the wheel, the study suggested, with the effects continuing after the "guinea-pigs" had expelled all trace of alcohol from their bodies.

Some basic results,as reported in the Daily Mail:

• Hungover drivers made significantly more mistakes in a 20-minute driving simulation.
• Researchers found a hangover could impair driving ability as much as being drunk.
• A hangover could significantly increase the number of concentration lapses.
• It can cause deviations or weaving instead of straight-line driving.

Associate professor Alford said the test, in a mixed urban and rural setting, was designed to reflect the real-life situation of people going to work the morning after a night of drinking.


Hungover people had slower reaction times, experienced more lapses in concentration and weaved across the road more. They also made more driving errors.

In a larger Dutch study at Utrecht University, the Daily Mail added, volunteers took part in a simulated one-hour motorway drive after consuming about 10 alcoholic drinks.

Compared to the same tests after an alcohol-free night, the results showed a hangover could significantly increase the lapses in attention and cause erratic steering.

The drivers were tested after their blood-alcohol level had returned to zero but their standard of driving remained similar to being over the drink-drive limit.