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Nissan Wants You To Remember to Drink

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Nissan highlights dangers of driver dehydrationDid you know that drivers make more than twice as many mistakes as normal if they are dehydrated? Normally when we talk about drinking and driving we are referring to alcohol and how it is a bad thing to do. In this case, Nissan wants you to ‘hit the bottle’ that’s full of water before you take off in a car.

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According to a study from Loughborough University, mistakes common to drivers who were dehydrated included drifting in a lane, crossing lane lines, and braking too slowly. Driers who had only about 25 mL (a sip) of water per hour made the same amount of errors as someone with a blood-alcohol level of .08%, which is the legal limit in the UK and US. On the other hand, an earlier study found that people reacted 14% faster after drinking a pint of water.

Since cars now can tell you when you are getting too sleepy to drive, Droog design brand researcher and designer Paulien Routs set out to create a system that can tell if you are too dehydrated to be behind the wheel. Called SOAK, this coating is applied to seats and steering wheels to detect water levels in a driver. When it senses perspiration on hands or bodies it changes colors. Blue means that drivers are good to go, but when it is yellow they need to grab a water bottle.

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To show the importance of hydration on the road, Nissan added the SOAK coating system to a Nissan Juke featured in a video to raise awareness. Considering that two-thirds of drivers don’t know how to detect signs of dehydration, it is certainly an issue that needs more attention. Nissan does not plan on applying SOAK technology to production vehicles, but it hopes the special edition vehicle will help pass on the message to drink (water) and drive.