Driving With Arthritis: Can I Still Drive After Diagnosis? - Rheumatology Consultant London | Rheumatologist London | Dr Stephanie Barrett

 

 

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For many people, their car is their main lease of life. The idea that it may be something they can no longer do can be extremely worrying. Diagnosis with arthritis doesn’t necessarily effect your driving at all but it might so it is important you fully understand the law. Driving with arthritis doesn’t have to difficult and you can still keep your car in many instances.

Driving with Arthritis

If you hold a current driving licence and are diagnosed with arthritis then you may need to take action. If you develop arthritis and the illness has an impact on your driving that has lasted over three months you legally must inform the Drivers Medical Group at the DVLA. If you do not yet have a driving licence and you apply for a provisional licence you will have to take the same tests as other drivers, but additional tie may be allowed.

In some cases, your doctor may tell you to stop driving and then legally you must surrender your driving licence to the DVLA. Every individual condition is different so there is no need to worry until you have personal concerns. Some people with arthritis may find seatbelts and seats uncomfortable which is why it is important to seek adaptations where possible. Your occupational therapist may be able to advise mobility aids and tools for comfort and to help fastening seat belts less problematic. If driving does become more difficult or more painful there are some small tips you can keep in mind which may make a big difference:

  1. Ensure you fully adjust your seat and mirrors every time you get into the car
  2. Never drive tired, when your joints may naturally be more sore
  3. Try to keep your driving to an hour maximum, and plan rest breaks on long journeys to avoid stiffness
  4. Discuss your medication with your doctor and ensure you’re safe to drive when taking it
  5. Ensure you renew and maintain your breakdown service membership

It isn’t common that people with arthritis have their driving licences revoked. It isn’t something you should worry unduly about but you must keep a close eye on your symptoms for safety’s sake.