Telematics insurer warns drivers of dangers with common medication

Hay fever season is in full bloom in the UK, and telematics insurance provider drive like a girl is urging drivers to check their allergy medication before getting behind the wheel.

It is estimated that between 10% and 30% of all adults suffer from hay fever[1], many of whom opt for over-the-counter medications, as opposed to using household concoctions for allergy relief – but some remedies may render users being unfit to drive.

The majority of the UK hay fever sufferer population are allergic to grass pollen, which primarily effects Brits between mid-May until July. Changes in temperature and rainfall may lengthen the pollen season and make concentrations higher, as is expected with the pollen counts this year – increasing the danger posed to motorists.

Symptoms associated with the allergy may be a primary cause of concern for drivers, especially sneezing, a nuisance and serious distraction only sufferers know too well. While keeping tissues in the car and keeping the windows shut might help, most sufferers also rely on medication to tackle the symptoms – and that’s where the trouble can start.

“Drivers using hay fever medication could experience side-effects that impair their ability to drive safely,” explains Kelly Wilkins, Head of Customer Service at drive like a girl.

“Young or new drivers may not realise that the side-effects of over-the-counter medications often include drowsiness, dizziness or nausea. Crucially all drugs, whether prescribed, over the counter or illegal, are covered by the same laws, so driving under the influence carries the risk of a fine or ban. Motorists should take non-drowsy versions of any hay fever remedies and check the literature that comes with the drugs before getting behind the wheel.”

Summer Driving Tips from drive like a girl

  • Check the pollen count for the day before you set out.
  • If you are sneezing a lot, pull over in a safe place until it’s passed.
  • Check the literature that comes with the drugs before getting behind the wheel – look out for side-effects including drowsiness, blurred vision, nausea etc.
  • If you are going to drive, take the non-drowsy versions of any hay fever remedies.
  • If you have taken medication, consider alternative transport and leave the car at home that day.
  • Remember that over the counter drugs are covered by the same laws as illegal drugs when it comes to driving. Don’t take the risk.


Media enquiries to:
Pihla Hellgren // Nathan Manley

Notes to Editors

drive like a girl

Insure The Box Limited launched in June 2010 with its first product, insurethebox, and now holds over 5 billion miles of driving data and associated claims. As well as insurethebox and drive like a girl (another Insure The Box brand) it also administers other telematics offerings. drive like a girl is owned by Aioi Nissay Dowa Europe Limited, part of the major Japanese insurance group MS&AD Holdings, Inc. The group is taking a leading role in the development of technologies that will change the face of motor insurance and the way we view the car.