Pollen rise prompts safety call | Advice - Car News Jun 2019

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14:49 Friday 21 Jun 2019

With the pollen count due to rise significantly this week, road safety campaigners are calling upon hay fever sufferers to exercise caution when getting behind the wheel after taking medication.

“Some medicines, including those used to treat hay fever, can have an effect on your ability to drive safely”, warns Neil Worth, road safety officer at GEM Motoring Assist.

He added: “They could make you tired, dizzy or groggy, and they can compromise your vision and reaction time. That’s why it’s so important to check with your GP or pharmacist, and to read any warnings contained on the labels of the medicines you plan to take.  The same road traffic laws apply to therapeutic drugs as to illicit substances, so if your driving is impaired and you cause a collision, you risk prosecution and the loss of your licence.”

He recommends a safety checklist for any driver likely to need a hay fever medicine.  Step one, ask your doctor or pharmacist if a medicine could affect your ability to drive and be particularly careful if you are using a medicine for the first time.  Step two, if you do experience potentially dangerous side effects from a medicine, don’t drive, and organise a taxi or a lift from a friend if you need to travel.  Step three, if you find a particular medicine is making you sleepy, consider asking if there is a non-sedating alternative available.  Step four, check with your pharmacist if you plan to use an over-the-counter drug as it’s not just prescription medicines that can cause drowsiness and other potentially dangerous side-effects.  And finally, if you’re unsure about the warning given on the medicine you’re using, ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any risks before you drive anywhere.


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