RETURNING TO MOTORING AFTER SUFFERING A STROKE
The effects of a stroke
The effects of a stroke, whether temporary or permanent, can vary a great deal depending on what part of the brain has been affected and how extensive the damage has been.
One of the physical effects is often a weakness down the one side of the body that can affect an arm or a leg or perhaps both but only a very severe case will stop you driving. Car adaptations can be used, for example an adaptation that will let you drive with one hand. There are also various foot pedal controls that can be used.
Sometimes sight is affected by a stroke and, to drive, you should be able to read (with spectacles or lenses) a standard size number plate from 67 feet or 65 feet where narrower numbers are used. You may need a specialist assessment to see if your sight meets with DVLA requirements. Various eye conditions may recover with time or you may learn to live with them and, again, the DVLA will decide if you can resume driving.
If your speech has been affected this shouldn’t stop you driving unless you have trouble following road signs or learning how to use the various adaptations available.
You should remember that a stroke could affect your judgement, memory and speed of thought, concentration and attention to detail. These may improve as time goes on but you need to be able to react quickly and act logically in various situations when driving and, if this is a problem; you may have trouble getting back to driving. A visit to your local Mobility Centre would be a good idea where they can carry out an assessment of your skills and perception and advise on driving safely.
You should not think about driving for a least four to six weeks after a stroke and then, if your GP is happy with your recovery, you can return to motoring. However, if you have any ongoing problems you need to inform the DVLA. You should also tell them if other medical conditions such as diabetes or epilepsy and if your epilepsy of controlled by medication you will not be allowed to drive until you have been free of attacks for twelve months. The DVLA will ask for permission to contact either your doctor of consultant for further information.
The DVLA will either
The DVLA must be kept informed of any changes to your health or medication and you need to inform your insurance company of your medical condition and of any special adaptations you may have had fitted to your vehicle. You should inform both parties if your condition worsens.
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