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Dehydrated Driving: Sometimes It's Okay to Drink (Water) before You Drive

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You've probably seen movies where people get stranded in the desert and would do anything for a drink of water. They start to become clumsy, begin staggering, have hallucinations, and can't think straight. Picture this person behind the wheel of a vehicle rather than in the middle of the desert. Would you want to be anywhere near them? Would you want your teen driving this way? Dehydrated driving is very serious.

The Stats Regarding Dehydrated Driving

Research suggests that dehydrated driving has similar effects to drunken driving. Although small, one study shows that dehydrated men made about double the driving mistakes that hydrated men made during a two-hour trip. The errors began to increase after roughly 30 minutes into the 120 minutes. In the end, there are a total of 101 minor and major errors from the men in the dehydrated group and roughly 47 from the men in the hydrated group.

More thorough research is needed, but this study proves the detrimental effects that dehydration can have on one's mental and physical performance when behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Make Sure to Take Breaks While Driving

When on long excursions, people don't like to take breaks because it slows them down. However, wouldn't it better to take a little bit longer to get to your destination rather than get in an accident and not make it there at all? By taking breaks, you are able to

  • Avoid Driving Dehydrated: When you know you're going to take a break every hour or so, you won't have to worry about not drinking water before you head out on the open road. Plus, these breaks are the time to rehydrate and rejuvenate yourself before getting behind the wheel again.
  • Avoid Driving Sleepy: Long drives can make anyone tired. When you take breaks, you are able to stretch and walk around, while giving your eyes a rest from the road, so that you can stay more alert – both physically and mentally.
  • Avoid Driving Distracted: It's a good thing to maintain energy levels while driving, but you don't want to eat or drink while driving, as this is very dangerous. Instead, frequent stops give you ample opportunity to rest, grab a snack, and take a drink so that you don't have to do it while behind the wheel.

These are excellent driving tips for teens as well as adults. Parents should definitely take the time to drill this information into their teens' heads, especially if they are driving for longer than an hour or two on the road. It's always better to be safe than sorry! Plus, these tips, when followed, help to make sure every single drive is a pleasant and safe one.