How Allergies Can Affect Your Driving

Spring has officially arrived, and while that comes with perks like the start of a new baseball season and warmer weather, it also means high pollen counts and allergy season. If you’re familiar with the Georgia seasons, you know escaping pollen is nearly impossible. The high pollen counts in our area means allergy season tends to last longer here than in other areas of the country. Pollen and allergies affect some people more than others, but we all face potential dangers on local roadways during allergy season.

The most common side effects of seasonal allergies include watery eyes, an itchy nose and heavy sneezing. These symptoms can create dangers while behind the wheel of a vehicle, especially when paired with allergy medication that may cause drowsiness while driving. Here are a few tips to help keep you and others safe while driving on Georgia roadways during allergy season:

  • Try to avoid sneezing while driving. This may not always be possible, but some people have tricks that can help. Sneezing means closing your eyes, which means taking your eyes off the roadway. Even a moment’s distraction can lead to an auto accident, so do what you can to avoid this when possible.
  • Be mindful of medication and their symptoms. If you’re taking medications to treat symptoms, make sure to research whether they are known to cause drowsiness. If so, plan ahead and wait to take those medicines until you’re not driving.
  • Make sure your car is clean and there are no issues with ventilation. When the pollen count is high, it can maintain a strong presence in your vehicle and make allergy symptoms worse. It’s a good idea to ride with the windows up and the air conditioner on with a clean filter.
  • Understand your symptoms and how you feel with allergies. It can be common for allergies to bring on exhaustion, as well as strong headaches. Both of these are dangerous symptoms to drive with, regardless of cause. Act responsibly and take extra precautions when possible.

For many, the spring months are their favorite of the year. It’s finally time to be outdoors, plant flowers, watch baseball and enjoy a cookout with friends and family. But in Georgia, that comes with pollen and allergies. It may seem surprising to connect allergy symptoms with driving hazards, but it’s certainly a possibility. We urge you to do your part to help Georgia roadways safer.