Motorhome owners are being reminded to make sure they pull over and take a break after a large number have confessed to dizziness and drowsiness at the wheel. With the recent weather likely to push pollen levels through the roof, sufferers are being warned their symptoms could be worse than normal over the next few weeks. Sneezing and watering eyes will result in some drivers who have hay fever having their eyes shut for 80 seconds out of every 60 minutes of driving time which will reduce reaction times and road awareness as well as increasing the risk of an accident and more costly motorhome insurance premiums. Almost 90% of sufferers use antihistamine-based drugs to combat the sneezing bouts and research has shown that they can make things even worse.
The research showed that 25% of motorhome drivers who suffer from hay fever think that their ability to drive is affected by their symptoms and almost all of these admit to having had a minor accident or near miss due to hay fever, with the most severely affected drivers sneezing at least once a minute. Almost one third of drivers who suffer from hay fever have also admitted that they have taken their eyes off the road while searching for tissues. Insurance companies estimate more than two million United Kingdom motorists have had an accident, near miss, or momentarily lost control of their vehicle as a result of sneezing while driving.
A properly maintained air conditioning system can be a vital help for hay fever sufferers, as pollen filters will help guard against allergies. Almost 80% of modern motorhomes on the road are now fitted with good air-con systems, and to keep them working at their most efficient the pollen filters need to be changed every 12 months. Twice as many people suffer from hay fever today, compared with 20 years ago and some experts are predicting that the number of sufferers could triple over the next 20 years.