Millions of British motorists could be at risk of landing hefty fines and even a driving ban, for something that is out of their control. There are millions of hay fever sufferers in the UK and as the summer nears, there will be many reaching for medication to offset some of the effects of a pollen allergy. However, some of the medication used to treat hay fever have a detrimental effect on drivers. Not only could motorists be at risk of feeling drowsy from the medication but they could also land a drug driving charge.
Over half (58 per cent) of motorists suffering from hay fever drove after taking antihistamines, according to a Confused.com study.
Around 10 per cent of motorists had felt the effects of the medication while driving, found the study.
You can suffer from sickness, drowsiness, and dizziness which can affect how you drive and put you more at risk of an accident.
Certain antihistamines and over the counter medication can also land you a drug driving charge which comes with a minimum driving ban and an unlimited fine.
If a police officer deems you to be unfit to drive as a test of taking drugs then you’ll be arrested and can have blood and urine test at the police station.
Punishments for drug driving can be significantly worse but are fairly unlikely for an antihistamine.
Amanda Stretton, motoring editor at Confused.com, said: “With summer comes hay fever, which means motorists are going to be desperately relying on their antihistamines to keep their symptoms at bay.
“But what they may not know is that some can cause drowsiness and seriously affect their ability to drive. If in doubt, they should speak to their doctor or pharmacist for clarity.
“The consequences of drug driving can be very serious. Offenders are putting their lives and the lives of other road users at risk, and they could seriously damage their driving history if served with a criminal record, and see their car insurance premiums shoot up as a result.”
Neil Worth, GEM road safety officer, said: “Some medicines, including those used to treat hay fever, can have an effect on your ability to drive safely.
“They can affect your vision, your hearing, your reaction time, your perception of risk and your ability to carry out a variety of tasks.
“Your vision may be blurred, and you may also find it hard to focus or pay attention. Symptoms like this make you much more likely to be involved in a collision.”
Published at Tue, 16 Apr 2019 07:05:00 +0000