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What about Accommodations for a Driving Test?
Accommodations can be applied for for the Theory Part of a Driving Test; this can be for extra time or for someone to read the questions.
However you must contact the local Driving Theory Test Centre well in advance for details of how to apply.
ADD/ADHD and Driving
People with ADD/ADHD are not precluded from driving solely because of their diagnosis. It may take someone with ADD/ADHD a lot longer to learn all the implications of driving, but it should not affect how long it takes to learn the rules and facts in The Highway Code, nor the correct physical handling of the controls of a vehicle. What may be a problem is the ability to judge what other road users, pedestrians, animals etc might do and how this should affect their own driving; understanding that not all drivers and other road users obey all of the rules all of the time; that it is not their place to judge and sentence other, less able, road users (road rage'). Learning to ride a bike as a child and passing the Cycling Proficiency Test would be a very good foundation for anyone with AS as this will help them become more aware of the possible actions of other drivers and pedestrians.
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Will a provisional licence be granted?
Before any application for a provisional licence is made, it would be advisable to discuss the plan to learn to drive with a GP. The doctor will have access to the DVLA guidelines for people with disabilities wishing to learn to drive. If in any doubt, contact: The Medical Adviser, D M U, Longview Road, SWANSEA, SA99 1 TU, who would also be able to offer guidance.
If a parent is contacting the Medical Adviser on behalf of their son or daughter, his advice will be useful when reporting back to them. This is a delicate area: If the Medical Advisor has indicated a provisional licence may not be granted. The disappointment / resentment will need careful handling.
SHOULD DRIVING BE AN OPTION?
The UK Forum of Mobility Centres has 11 places around the country where people with disabilities, including ADD/ADHD, are taught to drive. A list of the centres can be obtained from the Disabled Drivers' Association on 01508 489449. The Centres also offer a preliminary off-road assessment after which they will give their opinion as to the candidate's likelihood of learning to drive successfully and over what length of time. Such an assessment would be a good option to consider before sending off for a provisional licence, and before signing up for what might be a long and probably expensive period of learning to drive. Even if the DVLA feel that a provisional licence is likely to he granted, it does not follow that learning to drive is going to be an easy or enjoyable activity. So a "trial run" might he a very good first step. It would also help the prospective driver discover if he is going to be happy and comfortable, not only being a driver in charge of a vehicle, but also spending time learning from a driving instructor. The driving test is an assessment of a candidate's ability to control a motor vehicle during a very short drive, and his knowledge of the Highway Code. It is not an accurate gauge as to how good a driver that person will be under exceptional or emergency situations.
APPLYING FOR A PROVISIONAL LICENCE
When applying for a Provisional Licence, the applicant must declare his ADD/ADHD in the relevant section of the form. If he wants to supply current medical reports to support his application, this would be helpful: otherwise the reports will be requested from his doctor.
Once a provisional licence has been granted, there will be no indication on it that the holder has ADD/ADHD.
In order to get a full licence, the learner driver must pass both sections of the driving test, meeting the standards set by the national driving test centres. If he is told that he has passed, and he is therefore able to apply for a full licence, then it must be supposed that he has fully met the necessary test standards. If a full licence is granted, there will be no indication on it that the driver has ADD/ADHD.
When applying for motor insurance, the application form will ask if the applicant has any disability, and if the DVLA is aware of it. Again, it is essential to declare all relevant information, as failure to do so is likely to make the insurance invalid.
Some insurance companies will not quote for people who have disabilities. Some will load the premiums they require for any disability. All companies load their premiums for 'young drivers' (those under 25), whom they consider have little or no road-use experience.
Many young people under 25, therefore, who have a 'disability', may discover to their dismay that once having successfully learnt to drive, passed their driving test and received their full driving licence, affordable insurance is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to find.
OTHER USEFUL CONTACTS
B J Knibbs Insurance: Tel: 08457 573147
Disabled Drivers' Association: Tel: 01508 489449
DVLA Medical Branch: Tel: 0870 6000 301
National Autistic Society: Tel: 0207 833 2299
READING Knowledge is power: for a good understanding of your own strong and weak points read up as much as you can about any condition you may have.
© adders.org 2004
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