How to drive with hay fever



It’s that time of year again where pollen turns certain people into erratic sneezers and motorists – even those in air conditioned cars – aren’t safe.

Luckily, road safety charity IAM Roadsmart has come up with some handy tips to keep the sniffles and sneezing fits at bay.

Vacuuming carpets, mats and upholstery is an effective way of clearing out any dust or pollen and reducing the problem. Additionally, if the car has a pollen filter, check to see if the filter needs replacing.

Another way to reduce pollen concentrations in the car is to keep windows closed and set the air-con to recycle. Also, when you’re not in the car, set the blowers to full with cold air for a time to clear the vents, again to clear out any dust hanging around.

When it comes to medication, be sure to pick up the appropriate non-drowsy antihistamines. A pharmacist will also help you choose the right pills for you.

Keep tissues close by whilst driving. You don’t want to be fumbling around for tissues when your eyes and focus should be fixed on the road. Stick a few dabs of Vaseline inside your nostrils too – this will help prevent pollen from entering your nose.

If you know you are going to sneeze, try to slow down and drop back from the vehicle in front and stop altogether if possible.

Richard Gladman, IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, commented: “If you are struggling to see and sneezing as well, you can’t be safe on the road.

“Visit your pharmacist or GP to see if they can offer driver-friendly medication. You can check your medication effects at gov.uk/drug-driving-law. If in doubt, stay off the road and look for another mode of transport.”

Ben Robb, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, adds: “Hay fever is an unavoidable inconvenience for many, but that shouldn’t stop people from driving. Hopefully, these tips will help them drive safely through hay fever season.”