Is Hay Fever Affecting Your Driving?
Published: 16 May 2012 By Peter Thompson Leave a Comment
The British weather may not be quite summer temperatures but the heavy rainfall is set to raise the pollen levels to unprecedented levels. With sufferers sneezing, how badly will driving be affected – and is it any better if you turn to anthistimine based drugs to help?
Some 700,000 British drivers this summer will be suffering from hay fever whilst driving on their commutes to and from work. With pollen levels set to rise, those allergic may find their symptoms more sever than usual.
According to new research by MORE TH>N Car Insurance, drivers who suffer from hay fever will have their eyes closed for 60 seconds on any given 45 minute drive1 this summer as they battle against severe bouts of sneezing and watery eyes – seriously affecting their reaction times and awareness of other drivers’ movements around them.
Most who try to tackle the symptoms of violent sneezing fits, irritating runny noses and red and itchy eye turn to antihistamine-based drugs. However over 1.7 million of “dosed up drivers” confess to suffering from dizziness, drowsiness, blurry vision and slower reaction times when taking these drugs.
Even though there are anti-hay fever drugs which claim to be ‘non-drowsy’, many motorists that take medication still buy the ‘drowsy’ products.
Worryingly, over 3.5 million motorists admit to having had an accident or near miss as a result of ‘dosed-up driving’.
As Janet Connor, Managing Director at MORE TH>N, comments: “Fits of sneezing brought on by hay fever can be controlled by taking medication, but it has to be the right, non-drowsy form. With a spell of warm weather just around the corner British drivers that suffer from hay fever need to start putting in place the correct measures to ensure both their safety and the safety of others when on the road.”
With help from MORE TH>N here are three key top tips to hay fever-afflicted drivers:
- If you are suffering from hay fever and haven’t taken appropriate (non-drowsy) medication to combat it – don’t drive
- Always read the label when shopping for anti-hay fever medication – side effects can last for up to 12 hours
- Be particularly wary of those hay fever drugs containing chlorphenamine – it’s notorious for inducing drowsiness.
You can find out more on the MORE TH>N website.
MoneyHighStreet comments: “Driving whilst under the influence of any drugs or alcohol is a clear ‘no-no’, however, drivers need to be more aware of the drugs they take to combat illness or allergies, whether that be such as hay fever or indeed a bad cold or flu. Apart from the dangers to yourself, you can of course be a danger to other drivers.
“Driving whilst unfit in any way simply isn’t worth it.”
1. 12.5 per cent of a representative sample of 1,000 British motorists suffering from hay fever stated they will sneeze 13.5 times in any given 5 minute period. With a typical person involuntarily closing their eyes for 0.5 seconds every time they sneeze, it is estimated that the aforementioned percentage of motorists will have their eyes closed for a total of 60.75 seconds during a 45-minute car journey.