Driving During Allergy Season

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March 30, 2015 by Minuteman Trucks


Spring has arrived in the U.S., bringing along a slew of seasonal allergies. Experts suggest that the 2015 allergy season could be more severe in comparison to previous years.

You should be aware that some over-the-counter allergy drugs can seriously impair your ability to drive a Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV).

University of Iowa researchers who tested allergy sufferers in a driving simulator found that the antihistamine diphenhydramine (found in many allergy and cold medications) significantly impaired a driver’s ability to follow, steer, and maintain the correct lane. The study showed that diphenhydramine has more significant impact on driving performance that alcohol does.

Drugs impair our bodies in a variety of ways. They may blur our vision; make us tired or too excited; alter depth perception; make us see or hear things that may not be there; raise or lower blood pressure; react too quickly, too slowly, or not at all. They cause problems with concentrating on the task at hand. These problems can result from taking any type of drug: illegal, prescription or over-the-counter. When our brain function is altered, our muscle and nerve function changes.

Over-the-counter decongestants can cause drowsiness, anxiety, and dizziness. Drowsy driving is responsible for an estimated 100,000 traffic crashes and about 1,500 deaths every year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Be sure to talk to your doctor and know the side effects of any over-the-counter drug you’re taking before you get behind the wheel.

This safety bulletin is brought to you by Idealease


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