3. Practical advice and tips for carers > Driving and transport alternatives

Driving and transport alternatives

2) Driving Assessment


SMART Centre

If there is a doubt about fitness to drive after stroke the person may be referred for a driving assessment. This is not the same as the driving test. It is designed to clarify if they are ready to drive again or not.

The driving assessment looks at any permanent damage to vision, memory, judgement, concentration problems or slower reaction times in an emergency. Muscle spasms, altered sensation or any effects of stroke which may cause loss of consciousness such as fainting or fits can impair driving ability. In some instances a speech and language problem may affect driving if the person has difficulty understanding spoken or written language.

The Scottish Driving Assessment Service is based at the SMART centre, Astley Ainslie hospital in Edinburgh. They not only perform the assessment but can also advise on any adaptations to your car or recommend additional driving lessons to regain confidence when driving. There is a waiting list for appointments at the driving assessment centre. If after stroke the person wants to drive again they should ask for a referral to be made by their GP. Referrals are taken from across Scotland.

The DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency) may send some drivers with medical conditions to the Driving Standards Agency for a driving appraisal.