A runny nose, headache and constant sneezing – these are just a few of the symptoms hay fever sufferers deal with during the summer as we prepare for a week of very warm weather.
These symptoms can affect motorists in a number of ways. Here’s some advice from IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, about what you can do to better cope with it before taking to the road.
- Ensure your car is clean and dust free and that you operate the air conditioning or ventilation to your advantage, making use of air recirculation where possible. It’s also important that you change your pollen filter regularly
- For anyone who hasn’t been diagnosed with hay fever and is feeling under the weather, avoid driving or riding and arrange to see your GP as soon as possible. What you might think is just a slight cold can become a major distraction – so get it checked before it gets worse
- While over-the-counter medicines will help with a runny nose and sneezing symptoms, a lot of these tend to contain codeine, which can blur vision and make you feel drowsy – check with your GP to decide what the best course of action is
- Your GP may advise you to take anti-histamines to control the symptoms, but make sure you take the non-drowsy ones. If you’re unsure, read the leaflet or speak to your pharmacy for more advice
- If you need to get somewhere but don’t feel well enough to drive or ride then see if someone you know can take you and bring you home again. Whatever you do, don’t take yourself – you may just end up sneezing and travelling up to 50ft with your eyes closed and losing control of your vehicle!
Richard said: “If you are stopped by the police after taking a hay fever remedy and driving whilst impaired you could find yourself falling foul of drug driving regulations.
“Be sure to check the medication thoroughly and see if it is suitable. But most importantly, concentrate on your route to recovery so you can get back onto the road sooner rather than later.”