Stroke - Driving Mobility

Stroke

Some people who survive a stroke are left with long term changes caused by the clot or bleed on the brain and this can, in some cases, affect the ability to drive safely.   

Some common changes include:

  • Physical effects – weakness or paralysis in arms, legs or both. This is often on one side of the body and cause difficulties with sensation, balance and/or co-ordination
  • Vision changes – including double vision, blurring and/or visual field changes in one or both eyes
  • Cognitive abilities – such as memory, understanding, concentration, spatial awareness and problem solving and having enough insight into these changes to be able to adapt to them
  • Psychological impact – change in mood such as depression, anxiety, confidence, frustration

It is best to discuss any lasting changes with a doctor and/or occupational therapist in the first instance.  If any changes remain one month after a stroke these may impact on fitness to drive and it is, therefore, a legal requirement that the DVLA (or DVA in Northern Ireland) is informed https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving & https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/how-tell-dva-about-medical-condition.  The DVLA/DVA may request the person attends a fitness to drive assessment at a local driving mobility centre where any potential difficulties with fitness to drive can be assessed by a team of specialist driving instructors and occupational therapists.

Read Philip’s story here.