With glorious weather and moderate to high pollen counts forecast for the weekend, the AA is reminding the nation’s 400,000 odd hay fever suffers to take preventative action to manage their allergies while driving this June bank holiday.
In the AA’s latest motoring poll, 27.7% of the 3,700 hay fever suffers surveyed indicated that the symptoms of their hay fever, primarily constant sneezing and watering eyes, has affected their ability to concentrate while driving. One motorist even admitted to scraping another vehicle during a sneezing fit while reversing in the comments section of the AA’s poll.
“Most hay fever sufferers are well used to the drill when it comes to coping with their hay fever. Says Conor Faughnan, Director of Policy, AA Ireland. “Our advice to those afflicted is to take non drowsy hay fever medication in advance of your departure, wear sun glasses, keep your windows rolled up and use the air conditioning to filter out pollen particles. And if needed pull over somewhere safe until your sneezing attack has passed and if possible ask someone else to do the driving.”
As part of the AA’s Summer Driving Week, which sees the relaunch of the AA’s Summer Driving section www.aaireland.ie/summerdriving, the AA also quizzed 13,000 poll participants on a number of other topical summer driving issues including attitudes towards hitch hikers, accepting roadside assistance from a stranger, preparing for car journeys and whether fuel prices were impacting their domestic holiday plans.
Positively 84.7% of those surveyed by the AA said they will inspect their car before heading off on long drivers/driving holidays this summer. 61% said they would not entertain hitch hiking. Inversely 26.3% said they would consider it depending on the circumstances. Three times as many males as females said they would be willing to pick up someone thumbing a lift at 36.8% and 11.7% respectively.
In the region of half of female respondents said they would accept the assistance of a stranger if their car broke down in an isolated location this summer. Not surprisingly the figure was much higher among male respondents with 81.9% agreeing they would happily accept a helping hand. For motorists looking to avoid this dilemma, the AA is offering a discount of three months free off AA Membership until June 5th to celebrate its Summer Driving Week.
Finally, fuel prices it would appear are shaping the plans of a large number of motorists this summer. 50.4% of the drivers polled said they will be cutting back on summer weekends away because of the record high fuel prices.
The June weekend will see a lot of motorists driving much longer distances than normal. The AA is warning motorists to watch out for Ireland’s latest road killer – fatigue. Ironically the fact that our roads are now much better (and safer overall) actually makes drivers more vulnerable to fatigue.
AA advice on preventing driver fatigue:
Additional information on the signs and symptoms of driver fatigue can be found at www.aaireland.ie/summerdriving .
Notes to the editor;
Fig. 1 Percentage of hay fever suffers who feel that it has affected their concentration levels while driving at some point (Based on responses from 3,705 hay fever sufferers)
Fig. 2 Number of respondents who indicated they would inspect their vehicle before heading off on a long drive/driving holiday (Based on 12,411 responses)
Fig. 3 Number of respondents who would consider giving a lift to a hitch hiker. (Based on 12,393 responses)
Fig. 4 Number of respondents who would accept the assistance of a stranger if they broke down in an isolated location (Based on 12,416 responses)
Fig. 5 Whether or not respondents will be cutting down on the number of weekend breaks that they will be taking this summer (Based on 12,410 responses).