I Can Drive My Car Again!
For about 8 months I couldn't drive my car because I've got limited movement on the right side of my body, so it was either being stuck at home or a friend or family member would drive me.
I was determined to drive again and started looking at different options. There were a variety of one-handed devices such as steering balls and left foot accelerator driving aids.
My Dad spoke to the DVLA and they directed me to a driving assessment, which the closest one was about 1 hour away called the Regional Driving Assessment Centre in Birmingham. I completed the application and we went to the Centre. There were some questions and a driving assessment.
I was quite nervous about driving again, but also excited. In the car, there was a steering ball fitted to the steering wheel and the car was automatic (I've only had a manual car before).
I've got drop foot so was worried about changing the accelerator to the left of the brake, but luckily the Assessor said, because you've got a bit of movement in your right foot, you can keep the accelerator to the right and drive with 2 feet (the right foot for the accelerator and the left foot for the brake).
So, I had the assessment using my left hand for steering and dual-feet for driving and after the assessment he said you are a competent driver and you only need a couple of driving lessons just to get you back behind the wheel. He did the report and sent it to the DVLA.
I had my first lesson about 2 weeks later, and he said you don't need any more lessons because you are a competent driver. I was so excited! The only thing left was the 'OK' from the Drivers Medical Group in the DVLA. After about a month they sent me a letter to confirm I was able to drive again, and the feeling I had was such relief and I couldn't wait to get driving again!!
The final hurdle was the car! I bought an automatic car, and an infra red steering device called a SmartSteer (image to the right).
For the first few weeks I only drove in the daylight, but after a while I was more confident, and drove at night as well.
I can drive again! It was such an amazing feeling. I can't really describe it, it was just fantastic!!
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