Driving is a privilege, not a right, but it’s a privilege that should be as accessible to as many as possible. If you live with a disability, then the idea of getting behind the wheel of a vehicle with that much responsibility for the first time might seem more daunting to than most. But providing you have the right level of mobility, there’s a lot you can do to make it work for you.
Getting the right teaching
If you’ve never driven before, or if you’ve developed a disability that changes how you approach driving, then you’re going to have to change how you attain a license. The process of applying for a license for the first time and returning to driving is a bit different. You might even undergo the painful process of having your license revoked. However, both will involve filling a medical-in-confidence form, after which you will be required to demonstrate your ability to drive. It’s a good idea to use specialist driving instructors who have the experience to help you navigate the use of your car with your disability. You might also have to cope with longer periods of using a provisional before you’re able to fully acquire your license. Waiting periods can go from 1 to up as much as 3 years, so patience is a must.
Getting the right deal
Naturally, the choice of vehicle you choose is going to be hugely impacted by your abilities and range of movement. Thankfully, some of the vehicles most suited to people with reduced levels of mobility also offer deals better suited to them, too. Jeep Motability, for instance, makes use of the Motability scheme from the government that can make it a lot easier and more affordable to not only buy a car but get the extras like breakdown coverage, servicing and maintenance and so on. By reducing the barriers to driving, it makes it a lot easier for you to manage car ownership on top of your other responsibilities.
Getting the right modifications
Some modifications might make it a lot easier to drive your car. Some manufacturers provide these options in particular models but a lot of the time you’re going to have to find them for yourself. It’s a good idea to get yourself covered by an insurance company that specialises in providing for drivers with disability, however, as modifications can impact insurance costs in most cases. The Motability scheme already mentioned can, however, help you find and fund the adaptations, so it shouldn’t add too much to the overall financial demands of owning a car.
As with all other aspects of life, by taking a proper look at your capability, the extra learning you might need to adapt, and the right choices in your car, you are probably a lot abler to drive than you think. Just remember that you’re going to need to not only make the right changes but inform the driving authorities of any developments in your condition down the line to legally stay on the road.