67% of drivers fail to recognise symptoms of dehydration

Around two-thirds (67%) drivers in the UK fail to recognise major symptoms of dehydration including slower reaction times, loss of focus and muscle cramps, potentially putting themselves at others at risk. 

With driver errors accountable for 68% of all vehicle crashes in the UK, drivers are being urged to take caution and ensure they are adequately hydrated before setting off on their journey. 

Over half of the 1,000 drivers (58%) surveyed by Leasing Options claimed to be aware of the risks of dehydrated driving, but don't do anything to prevent it. 

Health authorities recommend drinking around two litres a day, but the vehicle leasing comapny found that 37% of those surveyed are only drinking one litre of water a day, with 18% drinking less than one litre a day. 

Overall, 84% of drivers think drink-driving is more dangerous than dehydrated driving, even though a recent study conducted by Loughborough University revealed that mild dehydration is equivalent to being over the drink-drive limit in terms of driver errors.  London and Birmingham came out top for awareness of dehydrated driving, with 62% of London drivers and 67% of drivers in Birmingham stating they are ware of the risks involved. 

The results also suggested that men are more aware of the risks involved than women, with 62% of men admitting to be aware in comparison to 55% of women. 

Despite knowing the risks, 43% of drivers still admit to not having a bottle of water with them on car journeys. To test their knowledge further, Leasing Options also asked drivers to identify which of the following were symptoms of dehydration: 

Symptom of dehydration

Percentage of drivers who recognised as a symptom of dehydration

Headache

71.5%

Muscle cramps

37.7%

Dry skin/dry mouth

67.4%

Loss of concentration

59.3%

Loss of focus

47.1%

Slower reaction times

42.7%

Feeling faint

58.6%

Dizziness

52.9%

None of the above

2.6%

Mike Thompson, brand manager at Leasing Options, said: “At Leasing Options we pride ourselves on our safety measures and we think British drivers need to be more aware of the risks and symptoms of dehydrated driving in order to make our roads a safer place.

“When starting your car, ready for the morning commute, you may not think drinking an extra glass of water before leaving the house would affect your driving abilities, but you would be wrong.

“So, make it your prerogative and try carrying a water bottle in the car or have an extra glass of water at the beginning and end of your working day to avoid dehydrated driving.”

If you'd like to delve further into the research done by Leasing Options, please visit their website