Driving is an area of huge responsibility in life: keeping to the speed limit, ensuring your vehicle is roadworthy (this applies to both new and used cars), and having a valid insurance policy are just some of the critical criteria of safe driving. One other factor you mustn’t take for granted is your health, and whether than impacts on your abilities as a driver. The DVLA has a list of conditions which if you suffer from, by law, you must notify them of.
Don’t assume that just because your eyesight is 20/20, this law doesn’t apply to you. Being unable to read the trade plates of the lorry in front of you is not the only risk posed by health conditions. There is a vast range of issues which may affect your ability to drive, from arthritis to alcoholism, from brain injuries to broken limbs, and pacemakers to PTSD.
Some conditions are non-negotiable, such as dementia, which requires that you notify the DVLA. Some may depend on the type of licence you hold; a deaf person can drive a car without notifying the DVLA, but drivers of larger vehicles such as buses or Lorries will need to let them know. In some cases, the type of medical treatment you receive will determine your notification status: driving a car does not necessarily require a diabetic person to inform the DVLA if they aren’t being treated with insulin. However, any person receiving insulin treatment is obliged to tell the DVLA. You might notice that of these three totally different circumstances, they are all from the same part of the alphabet: dementia, deafness and diabetes. There is an extensive list of health conditions which might require DVLA awareness, so if in doubt, just check.
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Whether this is a new condition or one which has worsened over time, it’s important that you keep the DVLA informed. Otherwise, you could be liable for a £1000 fine even if you don’t have an accident, but you will almost certainly be prosecuted if you are involved in an accident.
So don’t consider your car as the only equipment needing to be tested and recorded for safety; MOTs are the health-check of the motor trade, but your own physical and mental health also needs to be part of the equation.
To report your medical condition to the DVLA, just use this UK Government link. It’s a straightforward process and it could save a lot of trouble, a lot of money, and maybe even save a life.