Returning to driving after a stroke.

January 20, 2019

My 78 year old father worked various driving jobs in Edinburgh and across the UK since he was 17. Motor bikes, Mini buses, HGVs, and up until a year ago he was still driving his car daily. But as is common with men around his age he suffered a stroke. His speech was affected and he lost the ability to identify objects through touch with his left hand without looking at them. 

 

His doctor advised him that he couldn't drive for a month, but if he (my Dad) felt confident and happy to drive after that he could, and that there was no need to contact the DVSA . My Dad didn't and voluntarily stopped driving. 

 

A year on and he feels ready to get behind the wheel again so I looked further into the rules and what to do next. I was surprised by a couple things that recent stroke victims and their families might not be aware off.

 

It's the drivers responsibility to contact the DVSA if they have a weakness in the arms or legs or have any problems with coordination, memory or understanding, even if the doctor hasn't deemed them unfit to drive.  

 

In Scotland there is a free test to help assess your ability to drive. It is carried out by the Scottish Driving Assessment Service.   

 

You need to contact your insurer if you've had a stroke even if your GP hasn't said your unfit to drive. 

 

There is also more information on the Chest, Heart and Stroke website.  We hope to get out soon to check his driving and I'll update a blog on how it goes. 

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