Do you have a communication or information support need?

If so please contact our Communications Team or the service providing your treatment so those needs can be recorded and responded to.

Driving after stroke

A stroke can make it unsafe to drive, temporarily or permanently, for a number of reasons. Stroke can cause physical weakness, sensation changes, or involuntary muscle movements. Stroke can cause blurred or double vision, visual field loss, or reduced depth perception.

Stroke can also cause problems with attention, concentration, problem-solving, memory, understanding, perception and decision-making. A stroke could affect your ability to make quick decisions, react to sudden changes, and concentrate on driving. 

Most stroke survivors will experience some cognitive (thinking) loss in the early stages. This should be assessed before returning to more cognitively demanding activities such as driving. 

The driving rules

After a stroke or TIA you are not allowed to drive for one month.  After this time it is your own responsibility to ensure that you are fit to drive.  If after one month you have any residual problems related to your stroke you need to inform the DVLA about these, using form STR1. Relevant problems are outlined in the green leaflet Car or motorcycle drivers who have had a stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIA).

You may wish to inform your insurance provider that you have had a stroke whether or not you have any residual problems.

How can your Occupational Therapist help you?

Your Occupational Therapist may complete a brief cognitive screen and physical assessment and give you advice on your options. With your consent they can also refer you for an in-car assessment if it is deemed necessary to ensure your safety to drive.

Questions to ask yourself:-

  • Do I have any concerns about returning to driving? 
  • Has anyone else expressed any concerns about my return to driving?
  • Have I had a recent eye test?
  • Have I noticed any visual changes since my stroke?
  • Have I noticed any changes in my thinking abilities since my stroke?
  • Have I noticed any physical (movement or sensation) changes since my stroke?
  • How might my fatigue levels affect my driving?

Resources

DVLA leaflet Car or motorcycle drivers who have had a stroke or Transient Ischaemic Attacks (TIA) , and form STR1can both be found on the Gov.uk website [https://www.gov.uk/stroke-and-driving]