Learning to Drive with PTSD

Successfully learning to Drive with PTSD graphic cartoon people

There are some instances where although there are no physical injuries, and experience such as a previous car accident can result in severe emotional trauma. The resulting Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may last for many years, and have a significant impact on someone’s life.

Doing something they once enjoyed, such as driving a car, may seem no longer possible. And this may lead to significant changes to personal and family life; such as how to get to and from work, the ability to ferry children around, social life and more.

Driving with PTSD

Whilst PTSD doesn’t necessarily damage a person’s physical ability to drive, it can create a mental state in which they have a significant fear driving.

With PTSD, the thought of a past accident and the idea of being involved in another accident may mean that moment a person get behind the wheel of a vehicle they run the risk of reliving their previous trauma.

Do you have to declare PTSD to the DVSA (Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency)?

It is important to inform the DVSA if you have any medical condition that affects your driving. Failure to do this may mean that you are liable to a fine, or even prosecution, if you are involved in a driving accident which is a result of your condition.

It’s recommended that you speak to your GP to discuss guidelines about driving with PTSD, as well as to ask them any other questions about learning to driving safely with PTSD.

Learning to Drive with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Having said all of the above, returning to driving with PTSD after an accident, or initially learning to drive with PTSD, is certainly possible. Lin Webb of 1nfluence Driver Training, who has experienced anxiety, lack of confidence and PTSD herself during the last 30 years, is a highly skilled driving instructor for people who are learning to drive with PTSD. Single lessons are available from £50 per hour, or you can block book 10 hours from £480.

For more information, return to the page about Drivers with SEN and Learning Differences, or you can discover more about driving lessons for nervous drivers or drivers with high anxiety.

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Being prepared for what may happen next when driving, is a key factor in keeping safe.

By planning ahead you can be prepared for what other road users around you might do next, and be ready to make adjustments to your driving plan if things change...... basically, the opposite to the blame culture that overwhelms many drivers around us!

Instead of moaning because 'that white van cut me up', think about how your driving could have been adapted to prevent the situation from happening in the first place.

Thinking drivers who are alert to the possibility of mistakes by others and are prepared to alter their driving plan are far less likely to be involved in a collision than the drivers who blindly blames others ....... let's face it, there's no such thing as an 100% perfect driver!

I'm sure one day in your driving past, you once made an error that someone else made safe!! A little bit of courtesy goes a long way eh?
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Whizzing over towards Brands Hatch this morning to meet with an elderly lady, who is now driving her car with hand controls, to ensure she can remain independent despite her recent illness and mobility issues.
I really enjoy our chats and helping her develop new car control skills and the confidence to keep driving.
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Overtaking may not be the most common cause of collisions on the road. but they are certainly among the most serious!!...... Better road signage, markings and design may well help, but changing the whole of our existing road system will be an endless task.

A good start point for a safe overtake would be asking ourselves a couple of questions...... Do I need to do this? Is now really the right time? When we think about the journey as a whole, rather than just the next stretch of road, driver frustration often reduces. Unless the journey is a massive emergency, there's rarely a NEED to overtake: overtaking the odd car here and there, you're unlikely to get to your destination more that a few minutes earlier.

Before starting an overtaking manoeuvre. there are many things to think about:
*Road markings and signs?
*Bends? Hills? Obstructions?
*Any junctions where others may emerge?
*Can you see well ahead for approaching traffic?
*How is the vehicle ahead being driven? Who is driving it?
*Can you give plenty of space?
*Do you have the ability to do this safely?
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'The only thing limiting you is yourself' Ken Poirot ... See MoreSee Less

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