Do you suffer from hay fever, drive and take medication?
If so, you could be taking tablets that may lead to a hefty fine or even a driving ban!
The sun is expected to shine in many parts of the country this weekend, which is great news following a very cold February and March but for hay fever sufferers warm weather usually means pollen levels increase and having to take medication to ease the symptoms.
However, motorists in the UK are being warned of the dangers of taking some over-the-counter medications which could lead to a hefty fine or even a driving ban.
What a lot of drivers up and down the country don’t know is that drug driving laws may apply to certain over-the-counter antihistamine medication and if pulled over by the police, you could be faced with a huge fine and a driving ban.
Using certain medications to help ease the symptoms associated with hay fever can actually interfere with your vision, hearing and reaction times and some over-the-counter tablets fall under the same drug-driving law as a number of illegal drugs including cocaine.
If you drive, take medication and are involved in a car accident, you could end up with a huge fine and a criminal record.
On the NHS.uk website, their information claims that antihistamine tablets which contain chlorphenamine and diphenhydramine are more likely to cause drowsiness and the safer ones to take if you are driving are loratadine or cetirizine which are less likely to cause drowsiness.
Motorists are advised to speak to their doctor or pharmacist to check which medicine could affect their ability to drive. Also, if you take medication and know you become drowsy afterwards then you shouldn’t drive at all.
Motorists caught drug-driving could land themselves with a huge fine, a minimum one year driving ban or possibly a jail term.
“It’s not just illegal drugs that make you unsafe to drive, many prescription and over-the-counter medications, such as those for colds, flu and hay fever, can have a negative effect on your ability to drive safely,” said a spokesperson for the road safety charity Brake.
In 2014, Brake and Direct Line conducted a survey and found that three in 10 drivers in the UK had no idea that some hay fever and allergy medications could affect their ability to drive safely.
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