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Safer driving

It's important to make sure that you can drive safely. Driving is a complicated process that requires a variety of skills. 

Memory problems can affect your driving skills

Some of these skills include:

  • Attention

  • Concentration

  • Co-ordination

  • Fast reaction times

  • Memory

  • Judgement

Driving after diagnosis

If you’ve been diagnosed with a memory problem, this doesn’t automatically mean you can’t drive.

When you have a condition that affects your memory, it’s not unusual to notice a change in other skills too, such as co-ordination and concentration. For example, you may find it harder to make rapid decisions or judge speed and distances.

If you, your family or your doctor or nurse have any concerns about your driving, you may be advised to stop. We know this isn’t always an easy decision, but it’s to stop you putting yourself and other road users at risk.

Informing the DVLA

If you’ve been diagnosed with a significant memory problem, you have a legal obligation to inform the Driving and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) about your condition. If you carry on driving without letting them know, you’ll be driving illegally and you insurance company may not cover you.

It’s also advisable to inform your car insurance company about any medical condition that affects your ability to drive.

Informing the DVLA doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stop driving. With your consent, the DVLA will contact your doctor to obtain further information about your condition before making their decision.

You can write to the DVLA at:

Driver Medical Unit
SA99 1TU

Independent driving assessment

If there is uncertainty about your ability to drive, you can undergo an independent driving assessment at Wessex DriveAbility. It is a charitable organisation dedicated to assisting people with disabilities or medical conditions to drive independently. 

They also carry out Fitness to Drive Assessments for older persons.


Phone: 023 8051 2222


Life after driving

When the time comes for you to stop driving there are still ways you can maintain your independence. As well as public transport there are other organisations that can help you get around such as Dial-A-Ride, Community Transport and other volunteer organisations.