Drivers affected by soaring Pollen Count
Common prescription drugs can impair driving
Are you one of the many who suffer from hay fever? Pollen counts have soared this hayfever season and many are suffering extreme symptoms which means the pill popping starts in an attempt to stave off the unpleasant symptoms. A survey has revealed that many motorists are unaware that prescription and over-the-counter medications can impair your ability to drive safely, by causing drowsiness or affecting reaction times, coordination, concentration or vision. These include some hayfever medications, painkillers, antibiotics and cough and cold medicines. Figures show that one in six (17%) admit either ignoring warnings not to drive or not checking that label at all.
The national road safety charity Brake is urging all drivers to always check the label on their medication, and not to drive if it says your driving could be affected, if unsure you should consult your doctor or pharmacist, and always err on the side of caution. Julie Townsend, deputy chief executive, Brake, said "it's not just illegal drugs that make you unsafe to drive; legal, over-the-counter and prescription drugs can make you a danger too, to yourself and others. This widespread lack of awareness among drivers is alarming, suggesting many are unwittingly posing a threat to safety on our roads. It's a particular concern at this time of year, when huge numbers of people will be using hayfever medicines, some of which can be risky if you drive. All drivers have a responsibility to ensure they are fit to drive when getting behind the wheel, including not drinking alcohol, ensuring their eyesight is up to scratch, and making sure their medication is safe to drive on. If it isn't, you need to stop driving or seek an alternative medication."
It is illegal to drive while unfit to do as a result of taking either legal or illegal drugs. As part of a new drug driving law set to come into force in autumn 2014, the Department for Transport believes roads will be safer by making it easier for the police to tackle those who drive after taking illegal drugs and clarifying the position for those who take medication.
When taking any medication you should always check the label to see if it could affect your ability to drive. If the label says your driving could be affected, it could make you drowsy, or not to drive if you feel drowsy, then assume you could be impaired and don't drive on it. If you are unsure if your medication could affect driving, consult your doctor or pharmacist. Never drive if the label or a health professional recommends that you don't, or says you could be affected, or if you feel drowsy or slow.