August 19, 2023

Who Determines If You Can Drive After a Stroke?

Many people who have had a stroke want to resume driving as soon as possible. However, it is important to remember that your ability to drive is a complex mix of physical and cognitive skills. If you are unsure about whether you are ready to get behind the wheel, talk to your doctor and consider having an Occupational Therapy driving assessment.

If you have a minor stroke or TIA and you are discharged from hospital with no significant impairments, your doctor may provide the licensing authority with a report supporting your return to driving on an unconditional licence. Alternatively, your doctor may refer you to a medical specialist – such as a neurologist or rehabilitation physician – to provide a report.

Your doctors will assess you for any lingering physical side effects that can interfere with your ability to safely operate a car, such as hemiplegia (paralysis on one side of the body) or spasticity (stiffness of muscles). They will also look at the impact of your medication and health conditions. For example, some people with a stroke have seizures after a stroke and develop post-stroke epilepsy.

If you had a haemorrhagic stroke or TIA (bleed in the brain) or if your disability or health worsens, it is essential that you let your doctor know. This is because you will be required to tell the DVLA or DVA about your condition and you may need an assessment for changes to your licence or vehicle.


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