Dehydration is called a “hidden risk” of driving, because people don’t believe that they can get dehydrated in their vehicles. Interestingly, it’s more common than you may think. Someone who drives for many hours on end may not be drinking as much as they should. Someone without air conditioning in their vehicle may dehydrate and become overheated. Even in a cool vehicle, the sun coming through the windows could be enough to dehydrate someone over time and lead to a car crash.
There are some serious signs of dehydration that you should pay attention to if you’re going to be driving. Whether you’re dehydrated before you get into the car or end up dehydrated during a long drive, these symptoms could impact your ability to drive safely.
One of the first signs of dehydration, which usually happens alongside thirst, is fatigue. You may start feeling warm and sleepy, because your body is trying to conserve energy and fluids.
Extreme thirst, which may be paired with dry mouth or an inability to cry tears, is another sign of acute dehydration. This might lead to distraction while you look for a drink or because of coughing.
Dizziness is common when people get dehydrated. This is due to lower blood pressure or lower blood volume as a result of not having enough fluids in the body.
Finally, there is a potential for confusion. People who are badly dehydrated may become disoriented or not know where they are. This could potentially lead to a crash if it comes on suddenly or if they get into a vehicle while confused.
Drivers need to take steps to avoid dehydration and to make sure they’re not impacted by it.
What can drivers do to stay hydrated?
If you’ll be driving, remember to drink a few glasses of water before you go. If you’ll be in the vehicle for more than an hour or two, set aside time for a rest stop, so you can get something to drink. Take regular breaks, so you know you’re getting enough water to avoid disorientation.
If someone strikes your vehicle because they’re disoriented or having a medical issue from dehydration, that person may be held liable. To prevent these kinds of crashes, all you need to do is focus on drinking more water and fluids.
Steven Morgan is an attorney who takes the time to understand the needs of his clients. He works to protect their interests in any workers’ compensation claim. Call us today at 912-289-0640 or send us an email for more information.