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A sneeze or sniffle has a way of creeping up on drivers, especially when they least expect it. Seasonal allergies seem to affect many of us – and IAM RoadSmart’s head of driving and riding standards, Richard Gladman, has issued some advice on driving with hay fever.

  • Keep your truck clear of dust and pollen by vacuuming carpets, mats and upholstery; this will help reduce the problem. Check to see if there is a pollen filter available for your vehicle – if you have one installed, does the filter need changing?
  • Keeping your windows closed and setting your air-conditioning to recycle will reduce pollen concentrations in your vehicle. Give the vents a good blow through with cold air when you are not in the truck to remove any dust that may be in them.
  • Taking the right non-drowsy medication is vital – charging into the chemist with an itchy nose and eyes running to pick up the nearest antihistamines can be costly and could cause drowsiness. Always read the label – or better still, ask the pharmacist.
  • Keep tissues close by to avoid taking your eyes off the road. Putting a few dabs of Vaseline inside your nostrils will also aid in trapping pollen.
  • Slow down or drop back from the vehicle in front if you think you’re going to sneeze. If you can do it safely, stop. If you are one to have a sneezing fit, we recommend finding an appropriate place to stop and allow yourself to recover.
  • Wearing sun glasses can help – but make sure they don’t have a negative impact on your vision.

Richard said: “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.”