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Study: Dehydrated drivers are as dangerous as drunk drivers

There are several types of dangerous drivers rolling down the streets of Ocala. Distracted drivers and speeding drivers cause many car accidents, but perhaps no one is more dangerous and more likely to cause a crash resulting in serious injuries than the drunken driver.

According to researchers at England’s Loughborough University and at the European Hydration Institute, dehydrated drivers can be just as dangerous to other motorists as drivers with a 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content. It should be noted that if you have that level of alcohol in your system, you can be arrested in Florida for drunk driving.

Car maker Nissan is currently testing new technology that will detect dehydration in drivers. A prototype Nissan car has been outfitted with steering wheels and seats coated with a material the car manufacturer calls SOAK. The material analyzes the driver's perspiration and changes color accordingly; that is, if you're properly hydrated, the SOAK-material is blue and if you're dehydrated, it turns yellow.

An auto blog we read recently was dismissive of SOAK's potential, but it seems to be a technology worth pursuing. While few people are likely to want their car's interior to be color-shifting depending on analyses of their sweat, it is possible that SOAK could trigger a warning light on the dashboard to signal to a driver to consume liquids.

That type of signal could be especially valuable in warm climates such as Florida, Arizona, Texas and others.

We don't know what the future holds for this emerging technology, but we do know that technology has been unable to put a stop people driving after they have consumed alcohol.

If you have been injured by a driver under the influence, speak to a personal injury attorney experienced in pursuit of maximum compensation and justice.

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