Atchoo! Hay fever and driving might not mix.

The sun is out, Spring is upon us and stuff is growing.  That means there’s pollen galore around us and if you’re a hay fever / allergy sufferer then you’ll be hitting the antihistamines and bulk buying super soft tissues.

But have you considered how having a runny nose, streaming itching eyes and the sneezes might affect your driving? Or whether or not you’ll pass a drugs test should the worst happen?

Well, you may pass the swipe as that’s for cocaine and cannabis but a blood test or roadside ability test? You might not be so lucky.

Many antihistamines cause drowsiness which leads to slower reaction times. Check the box guys!  And streaming itchy eyes are a sure-fire way to lose concentration while behind the wheel.  The best advice is not to drive while suffering a big hay fever episode but we know this isn’t always possible as work/school run/important shopping trips will get in the way. So what can you do?

🚗 Take non-drowsy medications. And take ones you know work for you.  There’s no point popping an antihistamine only to discover it doesn’t actually do anything.  Stick to brands (popular or otherwise) that you know work.

🚗 Check out what’s in the antihistamine and if necessary ask a pharmacist what the potential side effects could be.

🚗 Take medications as directed. If it’s One A Day – only take ONE a day! Or you could effectively overdose and that increased dose could appear in any tests.  If it’s three times a day, take it at three regular intervals. Don’t give it a chance to subside and make the next dose work harder, making you potentially more drowsy.

🚗 Keep your car clean and dust free, your air-con serviced, windows closed and air on circulation to stop stuff coming in the vents!  Don’t add any extra irritants to your vehicle.

🚗 If you find yourself feeling sneezey PULL OVER until it passes.  You could travel around 50ft with your eyes closed otherwise, and that could be fatal. For you, and others around you.  Not to mention sneezing icky stuff all over your windscreen, further blurring or obscuring your view!

🚗 Keep tissues in the car – wiping your nose and eyes on your dusty, pollen laden cardie is just going to compound the issue.  And some wipes / gel to keep your hands clean

🚗 Make sure it IS hay fever by checking in with a doctor or pharmacist. It could be something else brewing in there that could make you much much worse.

Oh, and if you’re buying someone flowers do pop them in the boot. And don’t forget they’re there!

Be safe out there!  There are already so many distractions on the road and inside our ‘star ship Enterprise’ cars that sneezing and not being able to see or concentrate properly are things that can be avoided, making you and the roads, cars and people around you, much safer. Worst case? Get someone else to drive, take public transport (I heard all those sharp intakes of breath!) or … walk!

We like our Oak Road customers to be safe on the roads and have a bunch of safety stuff in our stores.  Check in any branch for what you might need.

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