Most of us will prefer driving in the summer to any other time of the year – the bright nights, the hot days, no rain or snow to contend with, and of course, glorious sunshine beaming down on us, it certainly is much better than driving during the winter months.
However one aspect of summer driving many people will be aware of is the sudden onset of hay fever. Hay fever is an allergic reaction to pollen, which tends to be at it’s highest volume during the summer months. Approximately one in five people suffers with severe hay fever, although many more may experience mild to uncomfortable symptoms of this.
It has been suggested that driving with hay fever can impair your driving skills just as much as driving under the influence of alcohol – not only can it cause itchy and tired eyes, a runny nose, and fits of uncontrollable sneezing, which can be especially hazardous when behind the wheel, but it is also reported to have a negative effect on cognitive functions such as memory and concentration – which pose a risk to any driver as well as those in the same car or around them.
A recent study at the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands has concluded that drivers suffering from hay fever show symptoms similar to those in drivers after two to three units of alcohol – which is over the legal alcohol limit when driving on UK roads.
If you do suffer from hay fever, be advised to be on alert this summer. Whilst hay fever treatment may help to temporarily relieve the symptoms, they are also known to cause drowsiness and fatigue in users, so do take these with caution. If in doubt, do not get behind the wheel until the symptoms have cleared up.
What are your thoughts on this article? Do you or any drivers you know suffer from hay fever, and does this impair your driving ability? Let us know in the comments section below!
Safe driving from Britannia!