Is it Safe to Drive With a Hangover?

Being hungover is never fun. So many of us have experienced the headache, nausea, and the general feeling of regretting the prior night. You, in your drunken state, made a good choice not to drive last night, but now the next morning, you have somewhere to go, is it safe to drive hungover?

If you’ve ever experienced a hangover, you can probably guess the answer. No matter how good of a driver you might be when you are sober, when you are hungover, that pounding headache will distract you from that ball that just rolled onto the road, and your reaction time will simply not be up to par.

According to the University of the West of England, driving with a hangover can be just as life threatening as driving drunk. This study had participants who had been drinking the previous night perform a 20 minute driving simulation to portray the commute to work. The results showed participants with a significantly decreased response times, increased driving errors, and greater speed variability over their sober selves.

A complimentary study done by Utrecht University had the same results. The participants were put in a situation where they had to stop and go, simulating traffic with lights. The participants experienced delayed reaction times and drive course variations, such as weaving. While these participants had no alcohol in their system, their performance driving was similar to that of a drunk driver.

Simply put, if you are not sober and rested, you are a safety hazard to everyone on the road. Consider grabbing a taxi or an Uber, jumping on public transportation, or having you sober rested friend giving you a ride to your destination. If you have your car with you, return for it when you are feeling normal and awake. Remember, when you drive, you are responsible for the lives of the people around you as well.


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