We are of the opinion that heavy drinking and its effects may not adversely affect our reflexes and response in tasks such as driving, especially if the blood alcohol concentration is zero, but recent research has found that it is not true.
Hangovers have a dulling effect on the brain and can slow its reaction while driving which can be dangerous, researchers have said.
During the experiment, participants took simulated driving tests on the night after they consumed 10 alcoholic drinks and their blood concentrations had returned to zero. The results of the tests were compared to their performance on similar tests when they did not drink.
The study showed that hangovers can markedly elevate errors while driving. They portrayed slower reacting times, and drove at inconsistent speeds.
"The magnitude of driving impairment is higher than that observed with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 per cent, which is the legal limit for driving in many countries," says Dr Joris Verster of Utrecht University.
The study suggests that the effect of hangovers on driving performance must be a part of driver safety initiatives.