The unusual weather this summer is causing issues for drivers that could result in fines or penalty points – adding to the mounting cost of living expenses.
This week alone has seen warnings from medical experts about ‘thunder fever’ – a rare weather phenomenon that makes hay fever and asthma much worse with a combination of thunderstorms and elevated pollen counts across the country.
It happens when moisture and lightning brought by the storm, shatter pollen normally too large to enter the lungs into tiny pieces.
Whilst drivers need to be careful that sneezing, a runny nose and watery eyes brought on by hay fever doesn’t impair their driving ability, there is a serious risk for those suffering with the pollen.
The government legislation that bans driving while under the influence does not distinguish between illicit drugs, prescription medication and over-the-counter medications.
This means any type of drug that affects a motorist’s driving abilities could potentially result in a drug-driving conviction, even if it’s something as simple as hay fever medication that causes drowsiness. One in four people in the UK has hay fever, which equates to approximately 16 million people.
Other distractions that could be classed as careless driving include ‘rubber necking’ at the storm itself or failure to see through the windscreen properly, if caught in heavy rain.
Quotezone.co.uk, a leading car insurance comparison website, says if drivers find themselves stuck in the car during a thunderstorm, official advice from the Met Office is to wind up the window and stay inside the vehicle – the metal frame of the car should act as a conductive Faraday cage, passing the current around the passengers and into the ground, should it be struck by lightning.