Hay fever, driving bans, driving with hay fever
Adam Chapman

Hay Fever And Driving Bans

Not Just A Runny Nose And Itchy Eyes 

Much like 10 – 30% of UK adults I suffer from hay fever. It’s a sure fire way to ruin any day when you just want to be outside and feel fresh. A runny nose, itchy eyes and a general feeling of fatigue and disgust, it’s really just a bit of a downer for anyone unlucky enough to be allergic to nature.

Now I’m sure you all know what causes hay fever, or to give it it’s scientific name allergic rhinitis, it’s the damn plants I tell you. Shooting off their sweet sweet pollen so that they can reproduce and continue to let us humans breath fresh air. Problem is, if you’re suffering from hay fever then you can’t really breath anyway so it’s a proper case of giving with one hand and taking with the other.


I know I’m being overdramatic, the trade-off of some slight discomfort and a few numerical drops in my attractiveness is a small price to pay for the ability to stay alive on this planet we call Earth. What with science being the way it is there are even these lovely tablets you can take to pretty much take the symptoms away, or at least keep them at a bearable level.

Pretty cool right? WRONG!

Anyone else noticed how bad hay fever has been this year? I swear there is some secret government agency pumping more pollen into the air than usual, there’s no way this is all natural. Therefore I, like many other hay fever afflicted people, have been popping pills like hipsters in a warehouse rave.

It’s only just become aware to me that taking antihistamines and getting behind the wheel of a car is treated under the same laws as cruising along after smoking a joint or snorting a line of cocaine. The UK drug driving laws prohibit the operation of a motor vehicle whilst under the influence of any drug that might impair ability. This is apparently due to the fact that some antihistamines have been known to slightly blur vision and affect reaction times, two pretty essential things you need when behind the hundreds of kilograms of metal you and I call a car.


Surely your eyesight is impaired with how often you’re having to itch them or when you shut them due to sneezing every 30 seconds? I didn’t make the law so I guess I have no choice but to follow it. Policemen, bouncers and football referees are three people you will never win an argument against so don’t even try.

The worrying thing is that this means millions of hay fever sufferers just trying to make their commute a bit more bearable with the help of a Claritin alongside their morning porridge and glass of OJ are running the risk of losing their licence for up to a year if stopped and drug tested. Furthermore, they could even face fines or a possible jail sentence.

Can you imagine?

“What are you in for?”

“First-degree murder, you?”

“Hay fever”

I would honestly love to see that initial greeting, sure there’s a sitcom in there somewhere?


This year is set to be one of the worst on record if trends continue for hay fever sufferers and possibly might skyrocket arrest numbers. So before you get behind the wheel of your car this summer just think, do you REALLY need that Benadryl?