Do you drive a van related business? Do you suffer from Hay Fever?
If you’re a courier, a HGV driver, a coach or bus driver then beware because this year (2018) and particularly during June, July and August you might find yourself in hot water from driving for reaching for stronger than usual medication due to the very high levels of hay fever around the UK and the real culprit of this are certain antihistamines that you may previously have considered safe to take routinely, as part of your allergy relief.
This summer hay fever is estimated to affect over 20 million UK citizens who suffer from it to a lesser or greater degree and some prescriptive antihistamines are labelled under the same legal law as Cocaine when you are driving, especially those that contain chlorphenamine and diphenhydramine – usage of either resulting in severe drowsiness. If you happen to be driving whilst suffering from the effects of these medicines to combat your hay fever then you may be prosecuted in the event of being involved in an accident.
New drug screening powers at the roadside
UK Police Constabularies were given permission to apply a newly released drug screening process at the roadside relating to a string of new driving limits for a range of prescription drugs, even over the counter everyday drugs like Codeine could see you banned from driving if it is proven that medicines affected your driving abilities at the scene of an accident. Fines may be applied and can cost van drivers £1,000 or more if found culpable.
Staying Safe and Sneeze Free
If you’re a van driver then it’s imperative that you keep on the road, so whilst it’s tempting to reach for stronger medication to combat the debilitating effects of hay fever, especially given the current very high risks, you need to tread carefully. Look for medicines that contain non drowsy antihistamines such as cetirizine, loratadine or fexofenadine which should give you the same relief but without the risks.
Here are a few more tips on helping you to keep up your work without too much suffering.
Your van is likely to have a pollen filter fitted. However over time this may become blocked, having yours checked and maybe replaced could help.
Although it’s tempting to have the windows down whilst it’s hot, keeping them closed and using air conditioning to keep you cool will also help to keep the sniffles at bay.
Put a bit of Vaseline on your nostrils to help catch pollen particles and wash off and replenish throughout the day.
Regularly vacuum the insides of your vans cab, especially the upholstery, as there will be a build-up of pollen here.
Wear wrap-around sunglasses to help protect your eyes.
A change of clothing can also help as there will be a build-up of pollen on your clothes. Perhaps changing at lunch-time and putting your discarded clothes in a bag in the back of the van and not in the cab.
Likewise, when you get home after a long day on the road change your clothing and take a quick shower to remove some of those pesky hay fever culprits.
Drink nettle tea as this could help to relieve some of those irritating symptoms. Along with your flask of nettle tea, include a lunch box full of hay fever busting foods such as apples, tomatoes, onions and oily fish such as Tuna or salmon.
Avoid drinking alcohol as this can make your symptoms worse. Red wine in particular, which actually has histamine in it, can aggravate your condition.
Keeping you and your van in tip-top order helps you keep your van related business in top shape!