Driver Health & Well-being

As drivers, we have a responsibility to make sure that we’re fully fit and capable of driving safely.

As a driver, our health is an important factor. Sometimes, if we’ve had a major physical injury or are taking medications that say we can’t drive, it’s obvious that we shouldn’t be on the road. Some things aren’t so obvious though, but still impact our ability as a driver.

  • An illness – short or long term – that restricts movement (for example, arthritis)
  • Deteriorating eyesight
  • Getting older
  • Having a long term physical condition (such as diabetes)
  • Some mental health conditions

Stress can also affect your driving, causing you to become distracted and preoccupied with issues at home and work rather than focusing on the task at hand.

There are some simple steps that you can take to keep you, your family and friends safe:

  • A heavy cold or a bout of flu can leave you feeling tired and lethargic. Consider whether it’s really necessary to drive, particularly if it’s a long journey.
  • Get your eyesight tested regularly and update your glasses accordingly. Listen to the advice from your doctor or optician. The first sign of deteriorating eyesight might appear when you’re driving in the dark. You may struggle to adapt to the poor lighting conditions or experience glare or dazzle.
  • Restricted movement is an issue to drivers, particularly as we get older. There are many driving aids available to make driving easier such as steering wheel controls and extra mirrors.
  • Keep yourself fit – join a gym or take regular exercise, you need to be fit to drive!
  • If you’re aged over 60 years, then you qualify for a free driving assessment as part of the Drive Safely for Longer initiative. These are conducted by an independent driving instructor, using your own vehicle at a time and date convenient to you. It’s not a test but simply a great way to ‘brush up’ on some areas of driving that you may struggle with and receive advice and tips.
  • Your doctor or consultant may recommend that you don’t drive if you’ve suffered from a recent illness, condition or after a long break from driving. It might be necessary for you to undergo a driving assessment with the DVSA before returning to the road.
  • There’s a long list of conditions that you are legally required to inform DVLA about if you drive and suffer from any of them. Check if a health condition affects your driving.

If you’re an employer or manager, you’ve got a responsibility to ensure that your driving staff are fit and safe to drive. It’s good to think about what measures you have in place to manage their driving fitness, medical conditions and any medications that they’re taking.