Driving Assessment Archives - Driving Mobility

Ayrshire’s Sarah with MS ‘back being Mum’ thanks 
to DriveAbility Scotland

Sarah Sullivan, 34 from Kilmarnock, has been able to continue driving with multiple sclerosis thanks to expert guidance from Glasgow’s DriveAbility Scotland.

Sarah Sullivan, 34 from Kilmarnock, has been able to continue driving with multiple sclerosis thanks to expert guidance from Glasgow’s DriveAbility Scotland.

Sarah, Mum of 10-year-old Charlotte, came to accept in the summer of 2022 that she was struggling to drive safely. Diagnosed with MS in 2014, her progressive condition meant she was experiencing mobility difficulties and reduced sensation in her feet – so operating a brake and accelerator pedal was becoming a challenge. 

Sarah already owned a standard automatic car; however, the driving controls no longer met her needs as she explains: “I had started to avoid driving as my MS was getting worse. I still hoped for a while that the symptoms would go away, but they didn’t, so I knew I had to do something to get back on the road. I was staying at home more and more. At one point I’d been in the house all week and I thought this is ridiculous, I can’t go on like this, I must do something to try and get driving again.”

Sarah’s predicament was impacting on many aspects of family life. The main problem was not being able to give Charlotte lifts to school, friends, and her performing arts club. Sarah’s shopping trips and regular hospital appointments also meant reliance on others or using public transport which was challenging for a time-pressured mum using a powered wheelchair. 

Sarah continues: “Things needed to change. So, after speaking to my neurologist, I was signposted towards DriveAbility Scotland who would assess me and recommend the right driving controls to get me back behind the wheel. I had an appointment at their centre in October and was assessed by an Occupational Therapist and Approved Driving Instructor.  I was quite apprehensive before my visit; however, they immediately put me at ease by explaining it was not a test, it was an assessment. Due to weakness in my legs and arms, it was agreed that I should try driving with a steering wheel under-ring and radial push brake.  Well, it felt a bit odd at first but to be fair, I got my head around using these controls pretty quickly. This meant I could drive without using my legs, amazing!” 

Following her assessment and receipt of a written report, Sarah was given the names of recommended vehicle convertors who could adapt her car with the new driving controls. Sarah chose AIC Glasgow to fit the under-ring and radial push brake and within a few weeks she was driving full-time and back ‘being Mum’.

Sarah concludes: “Being able to drive means we can live a normal life; I can be the ‘Mum taxi’ again. I spend most of my time driving Charlotte around to her friends and various activities and share the school runs with other parents. I’m absolutely loving it. Using my new adaptations now feels second nature. It took me a bit of time to get totally used to them, and remembering I can’t wave at people, but today I don’t think twice about how to get about. I think the superb support from DriveAbility Scotland has helped me get my confidence back so quickly and they were brilliant all the way through. I’d recommend their services to everyone in Scotland looking for ways to drive independently with conditions such as MS.”

Injured Romford rugby player discovers hi-tech driving independence with Herts Ability

Kevin Hartie, 46, from Romford, has attended a new hi-tech assessment service at a Hertfordshire Driving Mobility centre, to regain driving independence following a life-changing sporting injury.

Kevin received a C5 spinal injury playing rugby in 2000. Now a full-time powerchair user, he has not driven independently since his accident despite previous assessments to ascertain how he could safely drive with additional vehicle adaptations. As the strength in his upper body has improved over the years, Kevin recently decided it would be useful to be reassessed again.

Kevin explains: “I actually had my first driving assessment back in 2008 and another before the pandemic. They were helpful and recommended equipment that would be useful to me at that time. However, I was still unsure and held back. I have a carer who can drive me if needed, with ramp access to the vehicle for my powerchair. And I’m fortunate that I have good public transport links, so I can use the train and bus for work. However, following the pandemic, and after a bit of research, I contacted Herts Ability who told me they had a new hi-tech driving assessment which would be ideal for my spinal injury.”

Herts Ability, based in Welwyn Garden City, is a charity providing driving and mobility assessments, driving tuition and guidance on how to access public transport through their Mobility Hubs Service. They are accredited by Driving Mobility who oversee 21 similar organisations nationally and 70 outreach facilities in England and Wales, ensuring consistent service and standards. Clients can self-refer or are directed from the DVLA, Motability, Police and healthcare professionals such as GPs and Occupational Therapists.

In March 2022, Herts Ability added a new high-tech wheelchair accessible vehicle to its fleet of adapted vehicles, which is now enabling more people with a limited range of movement in multiple limbs to drive safely. The vehicle features a Paravan Space Drive system, which means the brake, accelerator and steering wheel can be activated by driving aids controlled by microprocessors, transmitting signals in nanoseconds. There is also lightened power steering, push/pull hand controls, an Autoadapt wheelchair hoist and an electronically adjustable driver’s seat.

Kevin comments: “I attended Herts Ability’s Harlow Centre and the team were very welcoming. I was met by Sean Lawrence, CEO, and Sarah Wright, Occupational Therapist, who explained the assessment would include a discussion of my physical abilities, a cognitive screening, and then an in-car assessment on the road.”

“I was told that the new vehicle featured advanced technology but actually, if I’m honest, my expectations weren’t too high beforehand. However, I’m really pleased that I went. By the time my driving assessment began, the staff had a thorough understanding of my physical mobility so were able to make personalised recommendations. They suggested I trial driving controls using both arms to begin with, and this actually went ok. Then we tried the joystick control, which I also felt worked really well and this will probably be the way forward for me.”

“This hi-tech driving assessment was so useful and has given me a clear understanding of what new vehicle adaptations are out there. These have really progressed over the years, so it was definitely worth me going for another driving assessment. This time I can see a way forward. Herts Ability were excellent and have provided me with really useful information. I will need a lot of driving lessons, but I can now consider a Motability car and I know independent driving is a viable option.”



Driving Mobility to showcase unique driving assessment services at Kidz-to-Adultz-North exhibition

Driving Mobility will be presenting its range of mobility services at Kidz-to-Adultz-North exhibition (The Exhibition Centre Liverpool, 17th November 2021, stand V34, Kings Dock, Liverpool Waterfront).

Supported by The Department for Transport, Driving Mobility, the charity that coordinates a national network of driving assessment centres, will be presenting its range of mobility services at Kidz-to-Adultz-North exhibition (The Exhibition Centre Liverpool, 17th November 2021, stand V34, Kings Dock, Liverpool Waterfront).

Organised by the charity Disabled Living, Kidz-to-Adultz-North is a free-to-attend exhibition which provides a showcase for all the latest products and services to assist children and young adults with disabilities. This is the first physical Disabled Living event to take place since the start of the pandemic and will offer a unique opportunity for all disabled visitors, families and healthcare professionals. Part of the diverse range of stands on show, the Driving Mobility team will be advising how individuals gain or maintain independence whilst working closely with their Occupational Therapists. Visit the stand and find out why assessments by qualified Driving Mobility clinicians is vital.

Driving Mobility accredits over 20 main centres across the UK, many with outreach facilities, which provide professional support and driving assessments for young disabled people who wish to learn or retain the ability to drive. Individuals aged 16+ with a qualifying disability can self-refer or seek recommendation to Driving Mobility services via the DVLA, Motability and the NHS. Once a provisional licence application is complete, Occupational Therapists and ADIs (Approved Driving Instructors) from Driving Mobility can assess, review and signpost young drivers to the most appropriate adapted vehicle. These services will be explained at Kidz-up-North by representatives from two Driving Mobility centres – namely the William Merritt Disabled Living Centre based in Leeds and RDAC Manchester.

Steve Perry, Driving Mobility Trustee, said: “We look forward to another busy Kidz event and being able to help visitors once again on a face-to-face basis. Our team will be able to answer all questions relating to assisted driving and explain how our Occupational Therapists work effectively with their peers in the community. Driving Mobility is 100% committed to positive outcomes for all so even if driving a vehicle is not an option, our centres can recommend a range of alternative solutions from powered wheelchairs to accessible public transport.”


Ella beats amputation to drive once more with Driving Mobility support

Ella Dove, 30 from East London, has achieved motoring independence once again after experiencing a leg amputation due to a freak running accident – made possible by Driving Mobility.

Ella Dove, 30 from East London, has achieved motoring independence once again after experiencing a leg amputation due to a freak running accident – made possible by Driving Mobility.

Ella qualified to drive a manual car when she was 18 and drove for a few years. However, she moved to London in 2014 and decided not to take her car as it was easier to use public transport in the capital. Ella’s car remained at her parent’s house. In 2016 Ella unfortunately experienced a freak accident whilst running which involved a trip and fall. She fractured and dislocated her knee so badly the circulation to her foot was severed which finally resulted in a right leg amputation below the knee. Ella did not drive for six years until she was guided back to adapted motoring by Driving Mobility.

As Ella lives in Stratford, she decided to contact the Driving Mobility centre nearest to her at Harlow (a satellite centre for Herts Ability in Welwyn Garden City). This centre is one of 20 Driving Mobility centres across England and Wales which are supported by 70 outreach facilities. They provide clinically led, driving and mobility assessments so individuals can gain or maintain personal independence through appropriate adapted vehicles, mobility scooters, wheelchair or accessible transport. Driving Mobility centres are operated by independent charities or NHS departments – all accredited by the national charity Driving Mobility. Service users can self-refer or are signposted from the DVLA, Motability, Police and the NHS.

As Ella’s physical abilities had changed, her driving licence was put on hold by the DVLA. Hence, she was advised to seek a professional driving assessment so that official recommendations could be gathered and an appropriate solution to independence could be concluded.

Ella spoke to an advisor representing Driving Mobility who initially assessed her needs and organised an appointment with their team at Welwyn Garden City. Ella attended the centre for a driving assessment in one of their automatic vehicles. Ella explains: “I was initially quite nervous, but I really enjoyed the experience and definitely felt myself progressing in confidence and ability as the session went on. The private Driving Mobility test drive course in Harlow is a fantastic idea and a great way to ease back into driving again. I had not been behind the wheel for six years so this reassured me…  especially when driving for the first time just using my left foot for acceleration and braking.”

Ella adds: “The fact that the Driving Mobility team were so supportive massively helped me. I wouldn’t describe myself as a confident driver to start with; I’ve always been quite cautious behind the wheel, so I did feel myself gripping the wheel quite tightly and moving like a snail to start with during the assessment. However, I discovered that my road sense was still there, which was comforting, and driving didn’t feel as alien as I thought it would. By the end of the assessment in the automatic car, I was really enjoying myself and left feeling very proud – it was an enormous milestone for me!”

Following her driving assessment, Driving Mobility concluded Ella was safe and competent to drive an automatic car. This was amazing news to Ella and was a significant result for her confidence and independence. She received her driving licence back from the DVLA with the all-clear to drive a non-manual car with adapted pedals. In conclusion, she offers this advice: “I’d say have courage. Confidence for me is the biggest barrier. So, it was more a psychological push to get myself back behind the wheel than a logistical one. Getting used to an automatic, especially with specialist pedals and using my left foot for everything hasn’t been easy, but the more I do it, the more confident I become. So, go for it! Don’t let fear hold you back!”



Herts GP given driving freedom after serious brain illness thanks to Driving Mobility

Dr Alka Chandrayan, 45 from Letchworth Garden City, has regained her motoring independence following a life-threatening condition, thanks to the support of a Hertfordshire Driving Mobility centre.

Dr Alka Chandrayan, 45 from Letchworth Garden City, has regained her motoring independence following a life-threatening condition, thanks to the support of a Hertfordshire Driving Mobility centre.

Driving Mobility is a national charity that oversees driver assessments, personal mobility guidance and accessible travel information for those who have experienced life-changing illness or have restricted mobility. Clients, such as Dr Chandrayan, can self-refer or are signposted from the DVLA, Motability, Police and healthcare professionals such as GPs and OTs (Occupational Therapists). Driving Mobility, which consists of NHS departments and independent charities, provides 20 centres with over 70 outreach facilities – all focused on road safety and appropriate vehicle adaptations.

Dr Chandrayan contacted Driving Mobility (the Herts Ability centre) following a severe attack of Viral Encephalitis. Encephalitis is a rare, serious condition in which the brain becomes inflamed and swollen. Following hospitalisation and initial rehabilitation, Alka was instructed to seek a professional driving assessment so that she could regain her licence from the DVLA.

Alka begins her story: “Being a GP, I was aware of the Driving Mobility assessment centres.  I became very unwell with an acute attack of Viral Encephalitis during the summer of 2019. As per protocol, the medical authorities told me I must inform the DVLA, who put my driving licence on hold until I returned to good health and my driving ability was re-assessed. When my specialist neurologists and vocational healthcare professionals felt I appeared fit to get back to driving, they advised me to attend a driving assessment centre. My husband, Dr Shivesh Kumar Sinha, looked online and picked up the nearest Driving Mobility centre. As much as my cognitive recovery had been good, I totally understood that more complex activities, like driving and medical work, would need more comprehensive tests.”

“My husband drove me to the centre. The team were very friendly and welcoming – with a relaxed atmosphere. The encouraging leaflets in the waiting area, for people requiring assisted living, caught my instant attention and praise. My assessors Sarah Wright and Simon Edwards greeted me after a peaceful 15 minutes in the waiting area. They were both professional and courteous with a very warm smile. I was a touch anxious having never faced such a situation in my own personal life. Their very approachable yet professional demeanour put me at ease instantly. They patiently explained to me what the assessment would comprise of – screening for cognitive function, followed by an in-car assessment on the road.”

Alka’s assessment began with desk-based activities in one of the centre’s consultation rooms. She explains: “As my husband and Simon watched, Sarah carried out a series of tests to address the core neuropsychological skills necessary for safe driving. It felt very respectful and with each supported step, instilling little life-bursts of confidence in me. It felt more like those fun aptitude tests. Of course, Sarah was testing for visual perception, praxis skills, executive functioning and comprehension.”

Following the initial part of the process, Alka was then accompanied to a vehicle: “For the on-road assessment, I was in the driver’s seat with Simon next to me. Sarah was on the back seat. The centre had already taken the details of my current car and therefore had provided a vehicle with similar specifications – automatic, without any adaptations. I was reassuringly given enough time to familiarise myself with the assessment car, then we proceeded around a 14-mile route. This comprised of residential streets, town centre traffic, faster country lanes and dual carriageways. It took me about 45 minutes and included performing an emergency-stop.”

“During the whole time, the vibes were so positive. Simon kept reminding me, that it wasn’t a driving test and that I was already a proficient driver. He and Sarah had their assessor’s eyes on me as that is their job, but the manner in which it was done added so much to my confidence. Simon said: ‘Alka, even if you take a wrong turn, it doesn’t matter. In normal daily life, we can all take wrong turnings. So, as long as it is done safely, it is okay.’ A simple thing we all know, but to be reminded of it at a crucial time, in the most calm and respectful manner, made me feel that I was driving with friends!”

When the driving assessment was complete, Alka returned to a consultation room for feedback from her assessors: “I felt very positive even before I got my result. The team felt valuable to me and of immense importance, not just because they were assessing my driving, but because of the way they did it. I came out being rendered “safe to return to driving”, and a confident person plus I really hope, a better doctor! I will always inform my relevant patients and their families about this wonderful team and how Driving Mobility could be of immense help to them. Thank you Driving Mobility.”


Post-op farm manager regains driving confidence thanks to Driving Mobility

Lisa Hall, 57 from Bedfordshire, has retained her priceless ability to drive following a life-changing amputation, thanks to the support of a Driving Mobility centre.

Lisa Hall, 57 from Bedfordshire, has retained her priceless ability to drive following a life-changing amputation, thanks to the support of a Driving Mobility centre.

The charity Driving Mobility accredits a network of 20 independent driving assessment centres with over 70 outreach facilities, which provide guidance to drivers with restricted mobility. Service users either self-refer or are signposted for assessment from the DVLA, Motability, the Police or NHS – so the most appropriate means of driving can be recommended.

Lisa was referred to a Driving Mobility centre early in 2020 after undergoing a fore quarter shoulder and arm amputation due to bone cancer. At this time one of Lisa’s main concerns was the possibility she would never drive again. However, her consultant at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital Stanmore assured Lisa she would be able to drive again. This led to a referral to a Driving Mobility centre (Herts Ability) via Lisa’s assigned Occupational Therapist (OT). The friendly and knowledgeable team at this independent charity would provide full assessment and recommendations regarding vehicle adaptations so Lisa could potentially drive comfortably with one arm.

Being able to drive again was a major focus for Lisa after her operation as she explains: “I needed to get behind the wheel as fast as I could after being in hospital. It was my main focus and a goal to aim for. I have always been a confident driver as I live on a farm and always running short notice errands for the business. Managing our busy 700-acre arable farm with my husband means I need to be driving for lots of jobs, from banking to collecting machinery parts. Not being able to drive would be a disaster.”

Lisa continues: “When you undergo an amputation you can be in a state of shock, you can lose yourself. My op could have had a massive impact on my life and business, especially as driving was vital for both. Even during time away from the farm, I was always the regular driver for my group of friends. I’ve always loved driving. This could have all been taken away from me. Thank goodness my consultant had confidence in me that I would be able to drive again one day. He said I’d find it second nature again with new controls. He was right and the Driving Mobility centre made it happen.”

Lisa’s assessment was booked for February 2020. She spoke to the Driving Mobility team beforehand and completed an online form, so a suitable vehicle was ready for her visit. The team explained what to expect during the assessment and offered calming reassurance. Lisa felt fine on the way to the centre as she says: “Despite a lot riding on being able to drive again and some anxiety, my apprehension was manageable thanks to the support I received from the centre. My husband drove me there, so I was even more relaxed on arrival. I hadn’t driven for several months so it really helped I felt no pressure from the staff, especially as they kept asking me if I was ok.”

“Once the initial welcome and meeting was completed, I was accompanied by a driving instructor and two therapists to a car adapted with a ‘lollipop’ steering knob. The instructor drove first and then it was my turn. I was given plenty of time to get used to the car on a quiet industrial estate before starting my 45-minute driving assessment. I feel comfortable and not stressed throughout the experience.”

When the driving assessment was complete, Lisa was given an appraisal of her performance and a written report. The ADI (Approved Driving Instructor) and OT (Occupational Therapist) explained their findings and recommendations regarding suitable vehicle adaptations. They felt with appropriate equipment Lisa could continue to drive safely and independently. A steering knob or ‘lollipop’ with ancillary controls including indicators, lights, horn and wipers was deemed ideal for Lisa’s disability. The necessary paperwork was processed that day and sent to the DVLA so Lisa’s licence could be updated, and her insurance company informed.

The adaptation to Lisa’s Land Rover Discovery then needed to be arranged. The Driving Mobility team were able to suggest several local vehicle adaptation specialists, so Lisa wasted no time in contacting them seeking assistance. She selected PB Conversions based in Leighton Buzzard who completed the work within a week – with the actual installation taking a few hours. As Lisa’s new steering ‘lollipop’ operates wirelessly, it can be easily clipped on and off the steering wheel so the car can be used with either standard or adapted controls.

Lisa concludes: “I was so lucky to complete my assessment and have my car adapted just before lockdown. Now I can definitely say being able to drive has given me my life back. I felt comfortable and supported throughout the whole process by the Driving Mobility centre and the steering controls they recommended are perfect. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and was thrilled to pass my assessment! Using a car is now second nature to me again and we have flexibility with the controls so my husband can drive without the ‘lollipop’ attached, it’s so easy. Driving has always been a big part of my life and I am delighted to say this will now continue. I would encourage anyone in a similar position to do the same and give it a go, I thoroughly recommend Driving Mobility.”


WMDAS Cardiff driving assessment centre on TV

‘Desperate to Drive’ to tells the story of 4 people who are desperate to drive, their background, the assessment, the outcome and their future following the assessment.

Throughout the summer the Cardiff driving assessment centre, part of the Wales Mobility & Driving Assessment Service, has been involved with the filming of 4 of their clients with the production company Wildflame.

‘Desperate to Drive’ to tells the story of 4 people who are desperate to drive, their background, the assessment, the outcome and their future following the assessment.  A picture tells a 1000 words and this certainly hits home the good work undertaken by mobility centres; it has it all, with tears and laughter along the way.

The programme will be broadcast on Wednesday December 4th at 8pm on BBC WALES. (BBC ONE WALES HD & WALES ONLY)

For those not viewing BBC One Wales you can watch the programme on iPlayer via this link: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000c1h2
(This programme will be available shortly after broadcast)






Driving Mobility’s DrivAbility and RDAC successfully showcased services at The Big Event

‘The Big Event’ is Motability’s flagship event and the teams had a busy two days on the Driving Mobility stand.

Teams from Derby DrivAbility and Birmingham’s Regional Driving Assessment Centre (RDAC) represented Driving Mobility at Motability’s ‘The Big Event’ on Friday 28 June and Saturday 29 June 2019.

‘The Big Event’ is Motability’s flagship event and the teams had a busy two days on the Driving Mobility stand.


Henna Zaman, Derby DrivAbility and Steve Dent, RDAC were ready and waiting to say hello to visitors on day one. They answered any questions visitors had about assessment centre services, driving assessments, modifications, adaptations, driving safety and vehicle loading. They also demonstrated the Ford C Max to visitors.

In addition to the stand activity Steve Dent, Assessment Manager, and Barbara Hutton, Occupational Therapist delivered talks on ‘advice and support available at driving assessment centres’ in the busy main Speaker Area.

The One Big Day programme of events will now take place in four locations across the country, offering disabled motorists and their families the chance to discover worry-free motoring.  The regional One Big Days are free to attend and offer visitors the chance to see a large display of vehicles for disabled people.

The event will showcase:

  • Over 50 cars from 25 different manufacturers
  • Over 20 adapted cars and Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles (WAV)
  • Over 35 scooters and powered wheelchairs
  • Specialist advice from our Scheme partners

At One Big Day Exeter specialist advice will be available from:

  • Motability Scheme advisors
  • Adaptation and WAV specialists
  • Disabled Motoring UK
  • Driving Mobility
  • Kwikfit, RAC and RSA Motability

The One Big Day event dates and venues are:

  • One Big Day at Westpoint, Exeter, Saturday 27 July 2019
  • One Big Day at Yorkshire Event Centre, Harrogate, Saturday 10 August 2019
  • One Big Day at East of England Arena, Peterborough, Saturday 7 September 2019
  • One Big Day at Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, Saturday 21 September 2019

Please check the Motability website for more information: https://www.motability.co.uk/news-views-and-events/one-big-day/


Stockport stroke survivor regains driving independence through Driving Mobility’s new flagship RDAC Manchester centre

Philip Wilson, 62, from Stockport, has regained his driving life-line after experiencing a stroke thanks to the support of the new Regional Driving Assessment Centre (RDAC) in Greater Manchester, part of the Driving Mobility network.

Disabled driver

Philip Wilson, 62, from Stockport, has regained his driving life-line after experiencing a stroke thanks to the support of the new Regional Driving Assessment Centre (RDAC) in Greater Manchester, part of the Driving Mobility network.

The charity, Driving Mobility, accredits a UK network of twenty independent organisations which offer professional support and driving assessments to people who need to gain, or retain, the ability to drive following a diagnosis involving impairment or disability. RDAC is part of this network and has been in existence since 1989 – it provides assessments for older and disabled drivers, passengers, motorcyclists and mobility scooter or wheelchair users. Within its services practical advice is given regarding appropriate driving adaptations, WAVs (Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles) and specialist tuition so that domestic and professional drivers can remain independent and safe. The new, custom-built RDAC centre in Salford represents a ‘flagship’ modern facility servicing people from Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Cheshire.

Following his stroke in January 2016, which resulted in left-side paralysis, Philip spent six months in hospital undergoing rehabilitation and physiotherapy. Once discharged, Philip requested to have his driving licence returned and was delighted when it came back with no restrictions. Philip comments: “I have always been active and mobile. Originally from Liverpool, I was in the navy until 1981. Shortly before my stroke, I worked in International Sales, leaving home on a Monday and returning on a Friday. I spent a lot of time driving and covered about 30,000 miles each year. Being able to drive is important to me and I was thrilled to have my licence back.”

However, due to his left-side weakness and eighteen months without driving, Philip found he had lost confidence and was unsure how to proceed. He had purchased an automatic car but could not find a driving instructor with an automatic dual-controlled vehicle to provide tuition and guidance. Following an online search, Philip contacted RDAC who invited him for a self-referral assessment.

Philip comments: “The Centre staff were welcoming and helpful. I met with Sean Barrett, the Assessment Team Manager, and John Allen, an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI). The assessment they gave me was very thorough. They asked me about my stroke and rehabilitation and also about any medication I was taking. I had cognitive and visual tests and I could see they were observing the way I walked and talked. It was very detailed and I really felt I was in safe hands.”

Philip was then accompanied for a drive in a dual-controlled automatic vehicle and was able to try different adaptations that promote safe and comfortable driving. As Philip finds using left-side controls a challenge, such as the indicators, RDAC recommended a steering ball as well as a Bluetooth device which allows a driver to operate everything with one hand. The centre also provided a written report and details of external Approved Driving Instructors.

Following his RDAC assessment, Philip is driving with confidence again, supported by assistive vehicle adaptations. He is now able to visit the gym three times a week, with rehabilitation exercises specifically aimed at improving functionality.

Philip comments: “A stroke wipes out the memory bank in terms of movement, so I have had to retrain my body to do basic things. In fact, when I first left hospital, I had a competition with my little granddaughter to see who could walk first! My driving assessment was part of this retraining and the Centre’s response was so positive that the boost to my confidence has been huge. I thought “I can do this” – and I have. The Driving Mobility centres offer such a good service to people who are struggling with driving confidence. They have given me my independence back – an absolute life-line for me.”

Disabled driver
Philip Wilson in the driving seat with John Allen, Approved Driving Instructor.