Chances are pretty good that some of your company’s fleet drivers are allergy sufferers. Unfortunately, many seasonal allergy symptoms and some medications used to treat them have the potential to hinder driving.
Some antihistamines can make users too drowsy to drive, and some decongestants can disrupt sleep patterns and lead to work-hours sleepiness as well. But the answer certainly isn’t to reject all allergy medications in the interest of safe driving. Allergy symptoms themselves, particularly in the spring and summer, can impair driving and create distractions. Runny eyes and nose, sneezing, coughing, wheezing, fatigue, the intermittent need to reach for tissues – you get the picture.
Allergy-suffering fleet drivers need to discuss both their symptoms and driving needs with their physician, so the right treatment plan can take both issues into consideration. Additionally, of course, it helps to keep the fleet vehicle clean and smoke-free.
Last year, a study in the Netherlands concluded that driving with seasonal allergy symptoms is comparable to driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.03 percent. Though not above the legal limit in the U.S., this BAC is associated with diminished concentration levels. The study involved 19 allergy sufferers in their early 30s. The driving conditions were considered easy.
To view a video about the research, click on the photo or link above.