With hayfever season well under way, motorists are being warned about the dangerous effects that medication can have on driving ability.

With one in five people in the UK suffering from the allergy, road safety organisation and breakdown cover firm GEM Motoring Assist has produced a free leaflet entitled 'Don't Motor on Meds' offering advice on driving while taking prescription drugs, as part of its ongoing campaign to raise awareness.

Hayfever, cold and flu treatments, pain killers, antihistamines, and even some eye drops, can all affect the central nervous system in a way that causes drowsiness, reducing the ability to concentrate on driving. The company also warned that driving under the influence of drugs, even those prescribed by a doctor, is a serious criminal offence.

GEM Motoring Assist boss David Williams MBE comments: "Many motorists don't realise the effect that prescription or over-the-counter medication can have on their driving. With the hayfever season in full swing, there could be many people breaking the law without realising.

"Most medicine packaging doesn't stress enough how driving may be impaired, so it is every motorist's duty to check before they start taking medication that it is safe and, if it isn't, there are often alternative medicines which won't impair driving. With a lack of awareness around drugs and driving, we have designed this leaflet to provide as much useful and relevant information as possible to continue to make our roads a safer place," Williams adds.