For many battling a disability, the loss of freedom is the hardest issue to deal with. The inability to do things for yourself, and making independent decisions is hard to come to terms with. Luckily, driving needn’t always be one of those things. There’s an inherent freedom that comes with driving. You can go anywhere, and do anything. So long as you’re behind the wheel, you’re in control. That’s why driving is so important to many disabled people. Thankfully, there are lots of schemes and help systems in place to make this process easier. Whether you’ve grown up with a disability your whole life, or recently developed a condition, this post will help. We’ll show you everything you need to know about driving with a disability.
Notifying the authorities
In many cases, there are no restrictions to driving with a disability. However, you must still notify the driving authorities. Your government needs to know if the disability has changed or worsened. They also need to know if you recently contracted the condition. In most cases, they’ll simply provide support and advice on driving. In the case of some chronic conditions, your license will be revoked. Of course, the authorities do everything in their power to make sure this doesn’t happen. But for sufferers of epilepsy, visual impairments, and neurological conditions, there may be no choice.
As a disabled driver, you are entitled to a blue badge. This is a marker that sits on the dashboard or windscreen of your car at all times. It allows you to park in disabled bays, and gain easier access to shops and facilities. It also allows you to park in restricted areas in some cities. The badge allows you to get as close as possible to otherwise restricted facilities.
Some physical disabilities make driving very difficult (but not impossible!) That’s where Motability comes in. It’s fantastic scheme that helps disabled drivers get back behind the wheel. They alter the cars specifically for certain impairments and physical conditions. They offer a discounted price, and make sure disabled drivers are well cared for. Best of all, there’s a brilliant range of cars on offer. We’re particularly fond of the RRG Toyota Motability scheme. They feature a variety of great cars including the Prius and extra large Rav 4.
After you’ve notified your local authority, they may help you with certain home alterations. These alterations will allow you to get to and from your car with ease. It could include lowered curbs or ramps along your driveway.
Toll concessions and road tax exemption
Finally, ask your local authority about financial concessions. In many cases, the cost of tolls is significantly lower. You’ll need to apply in advance, but it could mean lower costs at bridges, tunnels, and river crossings. Your Motability car may also be eligible for road tax exemption, relieving you of some financial considerations.
As you can see, driving with a disability needn’t stop you living your life! The freedom to drive is something that doesn’t have to disappear.