herald

Thursday 18 September 2014

Seven in 10 young men drive hungover

YOUNG men who would never drink and drive frequently get behind the wheel hungover.

Driving after a night on the booze can be just as bad as driving drunk, and it emerged today that seven in 10 young men drive while still groggy from the night before.

Over 70pc of the country's young male drivers, between the age of 17-24, will get behind the wheel after a night partying.

While young women are less likely to drive the morning after, 51pc of women in this age group say that they have got behind the wheel with a hangover.

Experts are advising drivers to be especially cautious over the festive period and to make sure that they are fit to drive.

The survey of 15,000 people, carried out by the AA, found that an overwhelming 40pc of people had taken the risk of driving a vehicle "the morning after", despite not being sure if their blood alcohol level had returned to normal.

This figure increased with young drivers between the age of 17-24 -- particularly young men. The poll highlighted the danger of driving with a bad hangover.

Lethargy

"The range of symptoms that arise from a hangover -- such as headaches, light headedness, nausea, thirst, lethargy and a decreased attention span -- can significantly impair your ability to drive," said Conor Faughnan of AA.

According to Mr Faughnan, hungover motorists are "potentially as dangerous as an intoxicated driver".

"We really would urge those undertaking long drivers over the holidays to avoid a night on the tiles the night before and to react responsibly if you feel signs of fatigue coming in," added Mr Faughnan.

And with the festive season in full flow, the AA has warned partygoers not to take a lift from someone they know, or suspect, to be over the legal limit.

An AA motor insurance poll found that young men are even more likely to put their lives at risk by getting into a car when they know the driver is drunk.

Some 30pc of young men have got into a car with an over-the-limit driver according to the survey, compared with 19pc of girls.

The poll was carried out with almost 15,000 people and found that the level of risk taking varied from county to county.

Wicklow passengers were found to be the most reckless, with 22pc admitting they had got in a car with a driver they knew had drunk too much.

When it came to travelling with a hungover driver, Roscommon was found to be the worst county and 82pc said they had travelled in a car with a driver they believed to be severely hungover.

One in four said they had taken a lift from someone severely hungover within the past 12 months.

hnews@herald.ie

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