Here's why having hayfever could land you with a £1,000 fine

Allergy sufferers are suffering worse than usual sniffles and itchy eyes this week as the Met Office released information revealing turbulent weather can worsen symptoms.

By Leanne Clarke
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 12:31 pm

According to their pollen forecast, most of the UK will experience 'very high' levels of pollen this week.

In light of the news, motoring experts at Peter Vardy have warned hayfever sufferers must take extra care this week to ensure their allergies do not affect their ability to drive safely.

It's been revealed that driving while suffering from symptoms of hay fever could land motorists with a £1,000 fine.

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According to their pollen forecast, most of the UK will experience 'very high' levels of pollen this week. (GettyImages)

According to their latest research, driving while experiencing intense pollen allergy symptoms can be classed as a "failure to have proper control of the vehicle and a full view of the road".

Craig Forbes, motoring expert at Peter Vardy, said: "Drivers must take responsibility for assessing their own fitness to drive when experiencing symptoms.

"There are ways to minimise symptoms of hay fever during spring, but if your eyes are extremely watery and you feel unwell, your driving could be impaired and you may wish to consider alternative travel in order to avoid a fine."

Six tips for safe driving during hay fever season:

Plan your journey around the pollen forecast - If you’re planning a road trip and suffer from hay fever, check the weather and pollen forecast. The Met Office forecast is updated throughout the hay fever season and provides an early warning when the pollen count is predicted to be high. If they’re reporting high pollen counts and you’re worried about your ability to drive, consider alternative travel plans or ask someone else to drive.

Use essential oils on your air freshener - To make your time in the car during hay fever season that little bit more pleasant, consider using an in-car diffuser and using drops of essential oils to combat your symptoms. Lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus all have anti-inflammatory properties and can unblock stuffy noses naturally. If you don’t have an in-car diffuser, drop the oils on an old air freshener and hang it near your air conditioning vent to reap the same benefits.

Take non-drowsy allergy medication - If you have purchased over-the-counter medication, always check the information leaflet as to whether you should drive or not. If it states that a side effect may be drowsiness, err on the side of caution and do not get behind the wheel. Non-drowsy medications can be taken to alleviate hay fever symptoms, but always ask your GP or pharmacist if you are in any way unsure about driving.

Clean your car - It’s important to clean your car regularly throughout pollen season, so as to get rid of any pollen particles that make their way into the vehicle. Use your vacuum and duster to get rid of any pollen dust on your dashboard and seats. Doing so will prevent the build-up of pollen inside the car that can worsen your symptoms.

Keep car windows closed - Closing your windows while driving not only prevents pollen from being directly blown into the cabin, but also from flying into your eyes and impairing your vision.

Avoid rural locations - Try to pick a route that doesn’t include driving through rural locations. Hay fever symptoms can be exacerbated in the countryside, most likely due to open spaces blowing around pollen and thus affecting those who are allergic more severely. If your destination is in a rural area, consider opting for a different destination or asking someone else to drive for the duration of your staycation.