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The Dangers of Driving a Motorhome with Hayfever


The Dangers of Driving a Motorhome with Hayfever

As the summer approaches here in the UK we look forward to longer days and shorter nights. The family car gets a good run for its money with the addition of Bank holiday weekends and summer holidays. Motorhomes and campervans are no different – they get dusted off and pointed in the direction of the coast or the countryside.

This is where our problem starts.

If you are one of the 18 million hayfever sufferers (Allergic rhinitis) in the UK (and it appears to be rising), being stuck behind the wheel is nothing to be sneezed at.

Hayfever is caused by a reaction to pollen, dust or pet hair and the signs and symptoms include a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing, red, itchy, and watery eyes, and swelling around the eyes.

Modern medicine can help, by taking prescription and over-the-counter remedies, but it is estimated that almost 44% of drivers who use hayfever treatments, admit to sometimes or even never reading the small print to check if it will affect their driving. These remedies include nasal steroids, antihistamines (diphenhydramine and cromolyn sodium).

So How Does Hayfever Affect My Driving?

  • Well the drugs themselves can cause drowsiness and impair your driving ability whilst reducing your concentration levels, almost as much as consuming alcohol.
  • Hayfever with its itchy and watery eyes can cause temporary blindness
  • Long fits of uncontrollable sneezing, not only reduces your vision but also your control of the steering wheel.

What Does the Law Say About Driving With Hayfever?

According to one UK newspaper – “Over-the-counter medication is covered under the same drug-driving law as cocaine and cannabis which prohibits driving with drugs in your body if they impair your ability. The offence carries a minimum one year driving ban and unlimited fine.

In serious cases you could be landed with a prison term and the criminal offence stays on your driving licence for 11 years”.

If it is now an offence to use a mobile phone or eat a chocolate bar while driving, surely its only a matter of time before drivers with hayfever are pulled over for using a tissue or a nasal spray.

The Future for Drivers with Hayfever

There is no doubt about it hayfever is here to say so we just need to live with it. Advances in medicine suggest that a cure could be here by 2021 in the form of a vaccine. The team from the Medical University of Vienna believes that annual inoculations over several years would eventually see symptoms disappear entirely, with the potential to develop a vaccine which would prevent non-sufferers from ever developing the condition

About the author

Malcolm McNeill lives in Glasgow and operates motorhome rental website as well as