Everything You Need To Know About Driving With A Disability
Living with, or developing, a disability can have a severe impact on your life. One of the areas it can impact hardest is driving. But, a disability doesn’t have to mean a loss of freedom when it comes to your car. The thrill of driving doesn’t disappear. If you love driving, it can often be a case of adapting your car or the environment around it. More importantly, there are plenty of schemes and services out there to help with this process.
We’ll take a look at some of those processes today. Initially, there is the process of registering the disability with the authorities. They will offer advice and explain your options in more detail. The important thing to remember is that a disability doesn’t always mean an end to the freedom of driving.
Notify the DVLA – First things first, the authorities need to know about the disability. This is important at all stages. If you’re applying for a license for the first time, this information is essential and will be required. However, if a medical condition or disability develops while you own a license, you must notify the DVLA. This is also true if an existing condition worsens over time. The DVLA require information on any condition that could affect driving. This could be physical impairments, visual trouble, epilepsy or a stroke.
Blue Badge Scheme – A blue badge is a sticker that you can carry in the car at all times. It allows you to park in disabled bays. This can often be the most difficult aspect of physical conditions and is found to be very useful. The blue badge also allows you to park for free on certain streets sides. Your local government will have more information on this in your area.
Motability scheme – To accommodate some physical conditions, the car itself has to be modified. This could be anything from additional space, easy access seating or pedal alterations. Most car companies offer this, though Skoda Motability have a particularly large range. Motability schemes help to adapt the car around your specific needs.
Concessions and tax exemptions – It’s important to learn about any concessions and exemptions you’re entitled to. In some cases, tolls for bridges and tunnels aren’t required for those with disabilities. When it comes to road tax, some health conditions and disabilities fall into an exemption category. Again, speak to your local tax office about whether this is the case for you.
Environment alterations – Sometimes, getting from your house to the car is the hardest part. If this is the case, you’re entitled to some help with regard to altering your environment. This could mean dropping the curbs near your doorway. It helps create a small ramp system to ease your movements.
If you suffer from a physical health condition, it needn’t always restrict your driving freedom. There is always advice and help available to get you back behind the wheel. Start by speaking to your local authorities and find out what’s available to you.