Can you learn to drive with ASD?

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If you have an Autism Spectrum Disorder, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a barrier to freedom and independence. 1nfluence Driver Training know that Autism Spectrum Disorders are very diverse, and that it’s almost impossible to know what an individual will or won’t be able to achieve in terms of driving if they have one. Each person is different; you may find driving challenging, or you might find you pick it up quickly and that driving is straightforward for you.

Although we can’t make assumptions or predict how easy or difficult it will be to learn to drive with ASD, there is some basic information from The National Autistic Society and other organisations like it, with some general pointers if you have ASD and are thinking about learning to drive.

Do you have to declare autism to DVSA?

You do need to inform the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency if you have a health condition that affects your ability to drive safely. Failure to do this may leave you liable to a fine or prosecution if you are later involved in an accident as a result of your condition.

It’s a good idea to speak to your GP so you can discuss guidelines with them, as well as to ask them any other questions you might have about learning to driving safely with ASD.

How ASD can make driving a challenge

Common symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorders are delayed decision-making skills, challenges with motor coordination, and problems with executive functioning (higher-level thinking skills like multi-tasking). Associated conditions like sleep disorders or ADD/ADHD can also make driving difficult.

You have difficulty with communication (either verbal or nonverbal or both) or take instructions very literally. For example, a road sign may use a common expression that’s meaning may not be obvious to someone with ASD, and similarly, another driver’s hand gesture or signal (such as waving you on) may not be easy to interpret.

How 1nfluence Driver training can help you

Some of the strategies for helping you learn to drive with ASD include:

  • Social and hazard perception – Working through common driving scenarios and breaking them down into small steps to reduce frustration and build confidence.
  • Running commentary – To help develop observation and recognition skills through speaking out loud the signs, traffic lights, pedestrians and other important observations which are needed to drive safely.
  • Emergency readiness – Another helpful strategy is to be well prepared for situations where you might feel anxious or panicky, such as if you are seriously delayed in heavy traffic, or involved in an accident. By developing calming strategies, and creating a list of steps (such as calling a parent or other source of support), this helps to reduce any potential anxiety.

Single lessons are available from £50 per hour, or you can block book 10 hours from £480.

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Lin loves to visit Flower Farm Shop when she’s not working…. the fresh fruit, veg, meat, eggs and homemade quiches are something else!! 😋

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UK cars only spend 4% of their time being driven!!

For the time and effort we put into taking care of our beloved motors, we spend a surprisingly small amount of time behind the wheel.

Indeed, according to the RAC Foundation the average UK motor spends about 80% of its time parked at our homes, and about 16% of the time parked elsewhere. Leaving only 4% of the time for driving around. What a waste!

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🚗💨🚨 Today the rules and guidance on using motorways has changed 🚨

You can read up on the latest updates here ➡

And don’t forget; you’re never too old to refresh your knowledge of The Highway Code 🧠

It can be read online via GOV.UK, for free, at any time
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IAM Roadsmart Advanced Driver - Aiming to improve driving standards

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Member of the Confident Drivers website - Offering additional support for nervous & anxious drivers

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