Driving after a hand injury

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Can I drive after a hand injury?

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) provides some guidance but the final decision to drive rests with the individual. As a driver, you are accountable for your actions and decisions when driving. 

If you are involved in an accident or stopped by the police, you may be asked to prove that you were in full control of your vehicle.

Do I need to contact the DVLA or my insurance company?

You do not have to contact the DVLA unless your injury is expected to last for longer than three months (The 1988 Road Traffic Act).

If you drive a heavy goods vehicle or a public service vehicle, e.g. bus or train, the rules may be more strict. You should inform your employer about your injury.

Your injury may invalidate your insurance and so you should discuss it with your insurance company.

How do I know if I am fit to drive?

Your doctor should be able to provide some guidance as to when you will be ready to drive. Initially driving might make your injury worse or risk delaying your recovery. You will also need to consider how your injury affects your ability to control a vehicle. You need to be able to:

– maintain a grip of steering wheel. Do you have a plaster or splint?

– move to change gear or take quick evasive action.

– think clearly at all times and not be impaired by pain killers, other medication or tiredness.

The bottom line

Vehicles, injuries and patients vary. You need to assess YOUR injury in YOUR vehicle. Hand dominance, power steering, manual or automatic transmission will all impact on your self assessment. 

Stay safe!


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