I know I get a little scared when I have to sneeze while driving. It’s terrifying knowing you are about to close your eyes while driving, especially on the interstate. So I wasn’t too surprised to learn that 25% of North Carolina car wrecks, well they are a result of allergies. I know you’re thinking “what?”. But new research from road safety experts Nextbase has confirmed that statistic. They looked at data from the last 5 years specific to North Carolina. From there they determined that 1 in 4 crashes occurred during peak allergy season. They defined “peak allergy season” as April, May, and September. In contrast, the rest of the US 1 in 3 crashes occurred during the same time period.

This can be attributed to several side effects of allergies including itchy eyes, drowsiness brought on by allergy medicine, and as I mentioned above sneezing. Plus when you’re focused on not feeling well, you’re less focused on the road. Not only does driving with allergies make driving a little more dangerous, but Nextbase also reports that Dr. Deborah Lee of the Dr. Fox Online Pharmacy equates driving with allergies can be just as dangerous as driving drunk. Lee says that both of these can “cloud judgment, slow decision-making, and slow reaction times.” They also reduce motor coordination. While I respect this opinion I would much prefer sharing the road with someone suffering from seasonal allergies than someone who is drunk.

Don’t be part of this statistic about North Carolina car wrecks in allergy season. Nextbase also shared with us 5 tips to keep your allergies at bay while in your vehicle:

  • 1. Vacuum Your Car Often

    cropped view of car cleaner vacuuming drivers seat in car

    LightFieldStudios

    Vacuuming your car often is one of the easiest ways to get rid of allergens including dust, pollen, as well as pet dander. This also helps keep the air filters in your vehicle performing their best.

  • 2. Keep Tissues Handy

    Hipster man Sneezing

    Nikola Stojadinovic

    A simple way to ensure you aren’t digging around your trying to find a tissue is to just keep them handy.

  • 3. Avoid Driving During Very High Pollen Count Times

    A Bee hovering while collecting pollen from sunflower blossom, Thailand.

    641443764

    This one isn’t all that practical. But they encourage checking the pollen count on an allergy map and avoiding traveling if you anticipate your allergies being bad.

  • 4. Keep Your Windows Closed

    A portrait of windows controls and adjustments. Car window controls

    ferlistockphoto

    It’s simple and effective, and while yes it may be more fun to drive with your windows down, during allergy season keep them up and keep the sneezing to a minium.

  • 5. Wear Sunglasses

    Sunglasses lie on the dashboard of a car while waiting for a ride.

    SVproduction

    They won’t just keep the sun out of your eyes, sunglasses also protect your eyes from pollen keeping your vision clear.

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