Driving and possible Medical Conditions?.

  spuds 12:37 01 Feb 2013

Seeing that the forum isn't very busy, I thought about raising a question, that might make an interesting discussion?.

I was wondering how many people notify their vehicle insurance company or possibly the DVLA if they have a medical complaint or recent medical and/or possibly surgical problems that perhaps should be reported?.

Is there a wider abuse of not notifying than we might not think about, or it is that some people 'forget', and would or could this have bigger implications?.

As any of the forum members 'forgot' (because it might cause further issues) or thought about this subject, especially as it might effect them and others at the least unfortunate moment?.

  beynac 13:12 01 Feb 2013

I recently looked into this for my father-in-law, who has had a heart attack. The DVLA and gov.uk sites give some very clear guidance. However, as expected, the situation is a lot less clear with the insurance companies. The ones I checked state that you only have to inform them if you are required to inform the DVLA of the condition. Unfortunately, it can also be considered as "relevant information" and could, therefore, be a problem if there was a claim. My conclusion was that it is best to advise the insurance company, stating that it is not a condition which needs to be notified to DVLA.

  spuds 13:35 01 Feb 2013


I fully endorse what you have stated. Trying to explain to some vehicle insurance advisor's can have its many problems, especially if they do not know what you are talking about, because their systems do not seem to cover the notification or preventive subject!.

Even some hospital's do not seem to know or have information, written or verbal, on what is notifiable or not!.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:47 01 Feb 2013

Informed DVLA and Insurers when wife was diagnosed as diabetic and put on pills.

Got a letter back from DVLA thanking us for informing them confirming that it would not yet affect driving and asked to inform if condition changed.

Insurers just weren't interested so didn't evenbother declaring it on renewal.

  john bunyan 14:12 01 Feb 2013

Awaiting latest renewal of "Lorry" licence - over 70 if you want to continue with "up to 12 tonnes with trailer" and minibus, you have to have a HGV style medical. I had (hopefully in remission) grade 4 metastatic Malignant melanoma. Had CT (including brain scan), PET and MRI scans - so far so good but awaiting DVLC,as this is on their list to declare for HGV.

If you just want a car licence, no need to have a medical, as long as eyesight, heart etc OK.A dilemma as to whether to declare the above, hoping for the answer.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:14 01 Feb 2013

or it is that some people 'forget', and would or could this have bigger implications?.

it is probable that some people do not realise they have a problem in the first place - we had a discussion about eyesight and driving recently on the forum - some things creep up on you so slowly you don't notice.

  Quickbeam 14:53 01 Feb 2013

My niece two years ago had an AVM discovered in her brain. her consultant told her in no uncertain terms that she must inform DVLA immediately, stop driving immediately, not to even drive home. To drive again she will need a thorough examination at least 12 months after the end of treatment and clearing by her consultant and will require DVLA to approve the licence.

That's probably one of the worst case scenarios for a medical condition affecting your driving.

  Kevscar1 15:59 01 Feb 2013

Despite head Therapist and surgeon telling me I should drive and being accused of being a Malinger by them when I refused DVLA took away my licence when I informed them of the RSD/CRPS in my hand

  johndrew 16:01 01 Feb 2013

There is a Government site that identifies notifiable medical conditions - the list is quite long - and, given the way the rules are worded, it would appear likely that a failure to notify would cause you to be driving other than within the conditions placed on your licence. I can only presume that if this is the case your insurance would also be void in much the same way as for the holder of a provisional licence who is driving unaccompanied by a full licence holder for the group of vehicle involved.

The only clear set of rules from an insurance company that I have found was at the Motoring Assist site and appears to require all those conditions listed on the DVLA site. I can only believe that all other motor insurance would follow much the same route.

As for 'forgetting' to notify your insurance of a listed condition, the implication must be that your insurance is likely to be void as in the case of the DVLA with a licence. However that which has not been apparent or diagnosed can hardly be considered an oversight as you are unaware of the existence - as presumably would be your doctor.

All a bit unclear in many ways, but I bet it appears somewhere in the small print legal exclusions in the full policy documentation.

  bremner 16:23 01 Feb 2013

I have had very recent experience of this issue involving an immediate family member in his mid 70's.

He suffers a number of serious conditions, two of which have recently led to sudden blackouts even though he religiously took his medicine. Finally he was referred by the DVLA, via his GP, for specific reports to assess his ability to hold a licence.

Relieved, we thought that it was a no brainer that his licence would be suspended, so we were dumbfounded when he was given the all clear to carry on driving.

  spuds 12:02 02 Feb 2013

It would appear by some of the remarks being made, that this is a problem that is possibly very widespread, but it as become very confusing for some?.

From my own experiences, it would seem that the appropriate advice is not always the correct one, and in fact might even lead to further uncertainties as to how the authorities and insurance companies will deal with any possible issues. Even leaflets or labels on prescribed or non-prescription medication can offer different advice depending on the person using them, and how the person feels at certain times of taking medication.

I would suspect that there are literally thousands of people driving on UK roads that are ticking time-bombs, either known or unknown, but we hear very little about this. Unless something usually drastic happens.

One particular case comes to mind for me, and that was an incident that occured a number of years ago. A friend of mine owned a heavy and general commercial haulage business, and one of his long term drivers who was then in his early 60's, had an accident, resulting in fatalities. It was only after the investigation, that it was found the driver was suffering from a 'sleeping illness', an illness that apparently is fairly well known now, but is perhaps ignored only to often, because the person involved tends to 'nod off' without actually knowing this, and perhaps puts it down to general tiredness, eye strain or boredom. That heavy haulage driver was convicted and received a 2/3 year jail sentence.

Another point, is that some medical or surgical consultants might advice and others will not, depending on the person involved, and what investigations are taking or have taken place. I have had incidents when I was told that I must use hospital transportation (minibus/car), but I cannot use a taxi company that services all the main hospitals in my area, for both private and hospital work.

The other point that as been mentioned, is insurance companies want to be informed,and this is usually clearly stated on policies, and at the same time, these same insurance companies are not sure how to deal with the facts. Possibly being more reliant on the DVLA making decisions and not the insurance companies own specialist division or department?.

So in the end, do you ignore or do you perhaps comply, in the hope that you have done the correct thing, if correct is correct?.

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