You could be fined £1,000 for driving with HAYFEVER

HAYFEVER sufferers could be fined £1,000 if they drive with symptoms.

With the UK expecting high pollen counts next week, drivers should be careful not to feel tired, sneeze or watery eyes at the wheel.

The UK is set for a pollen bomb this Easter weekend so motorists should exercise caution to avoid being fined


The UK is set for a pollen bomb this Easter weekend so motorists should exercise caution to avoid being finedCredit: Alamy

Car experts have warned that driving with hay fever symptoms could be classified as “lack of control of the vehicle and lack of visibility of the road”, punishable by a £1,000 fine traffic regulations.

Craig Forbes, engine expert at Peter Vardy, says: “Drivers must take responsibility for assessing their own fitness to drive when symptoms arise.

“There are ways to minimize the symptoms of spring hay fever, but if your eyes are extremely watery and you are unwell, your driving could be affected and you should consider an alternative trip to avoid a fine.”

Craig’s warning comes as the UK is set for a pollen bomb this Easter weekend. As temperatures soar, the Met Office warned of “very high” spore counts for most of England ahead of the bank holiday.

Usually, hay fever symptoms begin when the pollen count is 50 grains per cubic meter of air, so a reading of birch pollen between 81 and 200 is considered “high”.

This weekend’s pollen blast will come from trees including elm, ash and birch. Tree pollen is the first type of powder to explode in the UK, which causes symptoms of hay fever from March to mid-May.

Around a quarter of people with hay fever are allergic to tree pollen, the Met Office says — about 2.5 million people. However, grass pollen predominates from mid-May to July, followed by weed pollen from June to September.

Grass pollen is the most common allergy associated with hay fever and causes distress during the summer months.

Most read in The Irish Sun

With hay fever affecting around a third of the UK population, here are six ways drivers can be careful at the weekend.

Plan your trip around the pollen forecast

Check the weather and pollen forecast if you are planning a road trip and suffer from hay fever. The Met Office forecast is updated during the hay fever season, giving early warning when pollen levels are expected to be high.

If they are reporting high pollen counts and you are concerned about your ability to drive, consider alternative travel plans or ask someone else to drive.

Use essential oils for your air freshener

Consider using an in-car diffuser and using essential oil drops to help manage your symptoms and make your car more comfortable.

Lavender, peppermint, and eucalyptus all have anti-inflammatory properties and can naturally relieve nasal congestion. If you don’t have a diffuser in your car, drip the oils onto an old air freshener and hang it near your air conditioner to get the same benefits.

Take medication for allergies that won’t put you to sleep

Always check the package insert of any over-the-counter drug to see if you should drive or not. If it says a side effect may be drowsiness, play it safe and don’t get behind the wheel.

Sleepiness medication can be taken to relieve hay fever symptoms, but always check with your GP or pharmacist if you are in any way unsure about driving.

Clean your car

Clean your car regularly throughout the pollen season to remove pollen particles that get into the vehicle. Use your vacuum and feather duster to remove pollen dust on your dashboard and seats, which can build up and make your symptoms worse.

Keep car windows closed

Close your windows while driving to prevent pollen from being blown directly into the cabin and also from flying into your eyes and obscuring your view.

Avoid rural places

Try to choose a route that doesn’t involve driving through rural areas. Hay fever symptoms can be worse in the countryside when large open spaces are blown about with pollen.

If your destination is in a rural area, consider choosing a different destination or asking someone to drive for the duration of your stay. You could be fined £1,000 for driving with HAYFEVER

Fry Electronics Team

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