Hay fever hazards for motorists

insurethebox has warned drivers to check their hay fever medication before getting behind the wheel.

With 1 in 5 people in the UK suffering from hay fever, many will be reaching for tablets and nasal sprays to keep the symptoms at bay – but some remedies could render them unfit to drive.

95% of hay fever sufferers are allergic to grass pollen and sneezing while driving at high speeds is a serious distraction hay fever sufferers know only too well. While keeping tissues in the car and keeping the windows shut might help, most sufferers also rely on medication to tackle the symptoms – and that’s where the trouble can start.

‘Drivers using hay fever medication could experience side-effects that impair their ability to drive safely,’ explained Simon Rewell, road safety manager at insurethebox. ‘Young or new drivers may not realise that the side-effects of over-the-counter medications often include drowsiness, dizziness or nausea. Crucially all drugs, whether prescribed, over the counter or illegal, are covered by the same laws, so driving under the influence carries the risk of a fine or ban. Motorists should take non-drowsy versions of any hay fever remedies and check the literature that comes with the drugs before getting behind the wheel.’

Some of insurethebox’s tips for summer driving include: checking the pollen count before driving, pulling over when sneezing a lot and taking the non-drowsy have fever medication before driving.