Health

Hay fever could see drivers fined up to £5,000 and points on your licence, experts warn


DRIVERS who suffer with hay fever could be fined up to £5,000 for taking certain over-the-counter medication, experts have warned.

Hay fever medication can cause side effects such as dizziness and drowsiness so it’s important that you check the label before you take a trip.

Experts have warned that you could face a drug-driving conviction for driving after taking certain hay fever tablets

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Experts have warned that you could face a drug-driving conviction for driving after taking certain hay fever tabletsCredit: Getty

Car insurance expert from USwitch, Joel Kempson explained that the Road Traffic Act does not differentiate between illegal drugs, prescription drugs or over the counter medication. 

He said: “You could face a drug-driving conviction for driving after taking certain hay fever tablets.

“A drug-driving conviction could cost up to £5000 and could see points added to your licence. Any conviction will normally increase your car insurance premiums too.

“Some allergy medications can cause side effects such as dizziness, drowsiness, and confusion. If you’re planning a trip, ensure to check any warnings and advice on the medication.”

He said that if you do struggle with allergies then there are ways you can hay fever proof your car.

Joel explained that pollen filters are a great way to keep allergens out.

While not all cars come with pollen filters you can check your manual to find out if yours has one and you can also contact the car manufacturer.

He said that pollen filters work just like any other filter in that they catch pollen and debris that may have otherwise been blown around the car.

The maps above show which parts of the UK will be most affected by high levels of pollen this week
The maps above show which parts of the UK will be most affected by high levels of pollen this week

“Over time they collect a lot of particles, dust and pollutants. This can then cause them to become blocked, allowing little or no air through the vents. This can also, in some instances, leave a bad smell in your car.

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“So keep in mind that pollen filters do need changing.

“There’s no hard and fast rule on how frequently as it can vary, depending on your type of car, how often and how far you drive, and of course the external environmental factors (i.e. whether you drive in urban or rural areas most frequently). “

His comments come after forecasters warned that millions of hay fever suffering Brits could face misery this week as storms and downpours trigger a pollen bomb.

Across the country there will be high levels of tree pollen circulating – especially in the South.

Around one in four Brits suffer from hay fever – about 16 million people.

Over the next few days the UK is set to be hit by rain, with the Met Office reminding people today it’s not just warm temperatures that can cause pollen levels to soar.

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The experts said pollen levels can be high even after rain, explaining: “During a thunderstorm¸ high humidity can split pollen grains, releasing a higher density of pollen into the surrounding air.

“Any rainfall causes a marked decrease in pollen concentration in the air, but the time and amount that it rains during the day is very important.

“Early, heavy and prolonged rain is likely to keep counts low all day whereas rain in the afternoon will have less of an impact.”

Hay fever is worse this year as coronavirus lockdown triggers pollen ‘bomb’, says Dr Hilary





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