This is excellent news, as it can provide a great deal of freedom and independence to those with a disability and allow them to easily lead their day to day life.
It can be daunting to join the roads as a disabled motorist, so here are a few pieces of advice to follow:
Choosing a Vehicle
First, you need to find the right automobile for your particular needs. In addition to enabling you to drive safely, you will also need to consider aspects like the number of passengers that you will be carrying, storage, parking, fuel costs, insurance etc. If you receive a mobility allowance, you will be able to arrange a lease on an adapted vehicle through the Motability Scheme which can make it much more affordable and easier.
Accessing the Vehicle
Many motorists with a disability find that it is accessing and exiting the automobile which is the hardest and not the actual driving itself. You should know that there is equipment available which can help with this, including swivel chairs and hoists. There are also wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) which use a ramp or electric lift with lots of interior space – these can be found from places like Allied Fleet. There are also a few simple accessories that can help, such as a handlebar if you have slight mobility issues.
In terms of the law, a disabled motorist is only allowed to drive a vehicle with similar equipment to the automobile that they passed their test in. This means that it is vital that you identify the right type of car when learning (it is also worth using a specialist instructor). You will need to inform the DVLA of any disability when applying, whilst if you have a new condition or a current condition has worsened you will also need to inform the DVLA. In terms of insurance, insurance companies cannot refuse disabled drivers insurance or charge more but it could cost more if the vehicle will be expensive to repair.
It is fantastic that so many individuals with a wide range of disabilities are able to join the roads, but it can also be daunting with a lot of information to consider. With a little time and research, you will soon be driving safely and with confidence and enjoying the immense independence that this can bring.