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DVLA, Driving and MS

Hi Everyone,

Having only very recently been diagnosed and have become aware that I have to inform DVLC of this illness.

The only problem I have whilst driving is that as my right foot has turned outwards, and sometimes my foot slips off the accelerator pedal. With this in mind I sold the manual car and bought an automatic. Braking with my left foot whilst my right controls the accelerator pedal has completely solved the problem. Does anyone have any thoughts on this or have previously dealing with DVLA re: driving?.

Thanks in advance and Best wishes to you all

Blazer

Hi

Basically, I don’t think you shouldn’t be driving a car using a foot that isn’t completely reliable. I used to find that my right foot used to slip off the accelerator, and at sometimes very inconvenient times too. Like when joining a lane of fast moving traffic. Or when on a motorway.

And I suspect that is what the DVLA would think too.

You can have an automatic car adapted so that both accelerator and brake are operated with the left foot. It might take a while to get used to, but you could do it. Or get your car adapted to hand controls, so not using your feet at all.

What I did some years ago, was to go to a mobility testing centre. They’ll test all your reaction times, your abilities to use your feet and make recommendations as to what sorts of adaptations should be used, if any. They usually have a test track and adapted vehicles for you to try out. They write a full report and will also recommend places to get suitable adaptations done, as well as driving instructors if you need to spend a hour or two practicing. It’s not cheap (about £140 when I did it in about 2007) and the adaptations aren’t cheap either - changing to hand controls at the same time cost about £750.

Eventually driving using a push/pull accelerator and a steering ball (to enable you to turn safely with one hand) becomes second nature. And I believe driving just with your left foot is equally natural after a while too.

Best of luck.

Sue

my motability car was all operated by my right foot.

ask about the options.

Thank you very much Sue, It is so good to speak to folks who have been through the same experiences. May I ask, do you get stiff legs which require lots of stretching and exercises to keep you moving? I am 65 and recently found online the ELDER GYM. Lots of exercises that you can do at home, using items of furniture where necessary. The exercises make my legs fee great and I could not recommend them too highly and it is a free resource. Every best wish, Bob (blazer

Thanks Bob. I can’t really walk beyond a few feet when I have the help of FES to pick up my right foot and a walker. The rest of the time, I use a wheelchair.

But I do exercise as well, stretching exercises and core stuff when I’m able to. And I do see a physiotherapist fairly regularly. Admittedly, she sits, drinks coffee and chats before spending 10 minutes on physio stuff!

Sue

Thank you Carole, I see the consultant tomorrow and I will look into disability asap. Bottom line, I am doing well just now but not so long ago I had to bump down the stairs on my backside in agony and crawled to my chair in the lounge. Best wishes, Bob (blazer)

Blazer,

No doubt the DVLA will have done the normal thing i.e. ask for your licence so they can check with your Neuro. They send you a letter which is a temporary licence. They should then send yours back to you with the change being that you’ll have to go through everything again in 3 or 5 years.

Sue’s advice is, as always, excellent so suggest you confidently get all your ducks in a row as soon as you can.

So far I’m one of the lucky ones as I feel most ‘normal’ in the driving seat - although some folk may query whether I was ever ‘normal’!!!

All the best

Tippy x

Thank you Tippy, Much appreciated Bob x