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Having a hangover may make you unsafe to drive

Having a hangover may make you unsafe to drive

A new academic study has revealed that being hungover has a negative impact on our ability to drive, even after alcohol has exited the system.


What the new study revealed

Whilst analysing 11 existing academic studies, researchers from the University of Bath learned that "the ability to control a vehicle, as measured by deviation from a set course, was impaired"in the follow up to a night of "heavy drinking" even after little or no alcohol was left in the system of subjects.


How the study worked

Researcher questioned academic databases for phrases such as: "alcohol intoxication" and "next-day effects", finding a total of 770 studies published over the past 40 years. Of these, only the 11 studies previously mentioned were determined to have data sufficient enough to be examined thoroughly. The researchers concluded that whilst the majority of companies have policies precluding alcohol intoxication in the workplace, in some industries "employers might do well to consider revising guidelines on safety grounds."


Serious consequences for performance of everyday activities

Senior author of the report, Dr Sally Adams commented that being hungover has "serious consequences for the performance of everyday activities such as driving". One of the studies which was analysed backed up Adams, finding that reaction times were reduced by nearly 20 percent in subjects that were hungover. Lead author of the report Craig Gunn followed on from Adams, explaining that hangovers led to "poorer concentration and focus, decreased memory and reduced reaction times"



As a result of these findings, it would be understandable if van fleets and other organisations implemented clauses against hangovers, however the findings also showed that managerial decisions and some problem solving skills were found not to be diminished as a result of hangovers in the subjects. However probably best to avoid a heavy drinking session if you plan on driving or working the following day. The current drink-drive limit in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100ml of blood, Scotland is stricter with a 50mg limit. The NHS advise that it takes the body three hours to break down the alcohol in a 250ml glass of wine and two hours to process a pint of average strength beer.


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