Hayfever sufferers have one more thing to worry about besides the rising pollen count, as one discount car insurance provider recently warned them of the possible results of taking certain kinds of allergy medication whilst driving.
Motor car insurance provider Swinton Insurance recently cautioned those who suffer from seasonal hayfever allergies that as the Road Traffic Act makes no distinctions between over the counter remedies, prescription drugs, and illegal drugs, taking some forms of medication designed to control hayfever symptoms could lead to prosecution or even the loss of their licence. A fine of as much as £5,000 and a drug-driving conviction could be in store as well for hayfever sufferers as well.
According to Swinton, which is one of the largest car insurance companies in the UK, 21 per cent of drivers had no idea that a possible drug-driving penalty could be incurred by driving whilst under the influence of hayfever medication. An additional 18 per cent stated that they would blithely take the hayfever medication and then step behind the wheel without even bothering to look at the packaging.
Swinton issued the reminder that some over the counter medications for hayfever have many dangerous side effects such as confusion, dizziness, and drowsiness. The insurer stated that it is of the utmost importance that motorists are aware of how strong each medicine is before they take it and begin to drive, in addition to acknowledging the instructions and warnings placed on the packaging.
One oft-seen warning on hayfever medications is to not operate ‘heavy machinery’ while under the influence of the drug. Swinton’s survey found that 13 per cent of respondents didn’t think to associate with operating a motor vehicle as ‘heavy machinery,’ but instead only thought the term applied to such vehicles as factory machinery, fork lift trucks, and cranes.