Driving assessment

Just a note to say I went for a driving assessment at North East Drive Mobility at Walkergate Hospital in Newcastle today which deals with neuro rehab. I self referred there. It is free through the NHS. I was not optimistic about returning to driving mainly due to my vision ( double vision due to third nerve palsy) but also lack of confidence due to the crash which resulted in my stroke (not my fault, hit by a car that had broken a red light travelling 90-120mph in a 30 zone). Had pretty much written driving off. Suggested to me that I contact the above and I got a late cancellation. They were excellent. No pressure to do anything, supportive, reassuring. Had some cognitive tests, checked I could read a number plate from a distance, checked my license and got me on an off road track. This was the first time behind a wheel in almost 11 months since my accident and resulting stroke. I felt ok, and we then went out on the road. Did the full assessment and they have said I am safe to drive as long as I patch my affected eye to prevent double vision. They will provide me with a report that I need to send on to DVLA and declare that I have done that to insurance. Managed a manual car but they have automatics available and didn’t need any adaptations. Need to process this change in fortunes before planning the next stage. Could think about buying a car but dread to think what the insurance would be given no liability admitted by the other side yet as the coroners inquest will not take place until October, and I have had a stroke/ brain injury with vision affected. Independence is beckoning and it is so tempting.
Just wanted to let people know this service exists as I had a very positive experience with it. Julia

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@JuliaH wow Julia that’s amazing and well done in your determination to drive again. Great accomplishment, I have only drove about 6 times I’m happy to be driven about. I think I’ve lost some of my confidence.

Thanks for sharing as it’s encouraging for us all :heart_eyes:best wishes Loraine

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Fantastic news Julia, woohoo good for you and thanks for sharing the info about the service

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That’s good news @JuliaH , Hopefully it will give you confidence & independence.
I drive but not asuch as before (hybrid so automatic thankfully) and definitely find the extra concentration post stroke makes me tired.
I used to be a very confident driver and it was completely natural and without thinking but now post stroke it’s like everything else, walking, eating etc. requires much more concentration.
It sounds like a horrible experience you had with the crash but I hope you will be able to get back on the road again.
Good luck.
Mark

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@JuliaH that sounds really positive. Glad it went well for you. Another step on the independence ladder. :grin::grin:

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Well done in passing the driving assessment think about driving an automatic I’ve always driving a manual been advised to switch to automatic after having 4 tia had a weak leg before tia my legs go into a spasm without warning has happened while driving test drive an automatic car looking into getting one but have to have a small car found it easier to drive compared to a maual

Thanks @Gillian_21. Open minded about manual v automatic, always had a manual but have driven an automatic. Still probably a long way off but at least an option now, Julia x

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Update following driving assessment
I painted a rosier picture of getting back to driving that is incomplete.
More than a month after sending the report from the driving assessment to the medical section of the DVLA as required the DVLA has responded with a letter dated 3/8 which I received on 11/8 threatening to revoke my license if I didn’t complete and send back the forms and another copy of the medical report within 14 days. I had 6 days to do this. I could have been away, worse still I could have been away and driving which would have invalidated my insurance.
They want to get information from my GP, and hospital consultants which no doubt will take weeks. I had to sign a declaration that I understood using a patch affects my ability to judge distance - I have been living with this for over a year now so I think I can safely say I am aware of this.
On the strength of the driving assessment I bought a car, got insured, took driving lessons, always drive with my eye patched to prevent double vision. I have done this in a considered, methodical way as I recognise that I need to be as confident as possible behind the wheel in order for this to work out.
I understand the DVLA needs to ensure that licence holders are safe but treating vulnerable people like this is just awful. I have weeks now to wonder what is going to happen, with the anxiety that evokes. My confidence feels like it is misplaced as someone out there does not trust the assessment I had done. Somehow I am just meant to carry on in the meantime. Well I am because this is too important to me and I have already jumped through their hoops. Driving a car was the first time I have been able to leave the house independently in almost a year other than walking or cycling.
Just wanted to post this as the first post leaves the journey back to driving incomplete, I should have been more aware this could happen, it is not as straight forwards as being passed safe by the motability people. On calmer reflection, I think nothing will come of this, it is a box ticking exercise and I will keep my license, my lovely car, and the independence they bring.
This has also been an opportunity to get this off my chest, so thank you forum users, Julia x

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@JuliaH morning Julia, blooming useless aren’t they! To many departments to tick or x the boxes. Most sit on their backsides or take time off before they pick up their work.

I get so frustrated these days as you get answers when your kept holding on the phone for lots of departments “NoT my department “ then send you to wait in another queue.

In my day we dealt with everything. Sorry to rant but this makes me so cross. I got my pip declined and the letter was dater 25th July I received it 4th august telling me I had 1 month from the letter date to appeal! 10 days lost through their incompetence.

Send all your information you have to your local Mp stir it up for them. It’s a disgrace how you are treated considering you have had a stroke, there’s no care or support from any of the services we have to go to, to try and get our lives back in some kind of order Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Sorry I feel better for the Grrrrrrrrrrrrr good luck thinking of you and kind regards, Loraine x

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@JuliaH I feel your pain. I went through something similar. I have to say the tone of the DVLA letters leave a lot to be desired & had me in tears multiple times. I had one letter that took weeks to arrive then left me no more than a few days to sort what they wanted & not even veing able to contact the DVLA to explain. Hopefully this will be a box ticking exercise & it’s important road users are safe to drive but they could show a lot more compassion that’s for sure. Hopefully it won’t be too long till you hear. I heard quicker than expected. xx

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Yup. It took DVLA 2 months to confirm what my consultant had said. LV said my insurance was valid as long as the doctor said so, so I followed their advice rather than wait for the DVLA letter.

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