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Last updateSun, 06 Nov 2016 10am

Back You are here: Home Motoring

Driving Assessments

You may be faced with the question, 'Can I drive?' or 'What adaptive equipment do I need to enable me to drive?' A number of organisations provide services offering information and advice to help find driving solutions to suit an individual's specific needs. There is a charge for these services but sometimes grant aid is available through the local health services.

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Driving Lessons

These organisations provide driving lessons from their premises and from their regional centres.

  • The Disabled Drivers Association of Ireland
    Ballindine
    Claremorris
    Co Mayo
    Tel: 094-936 4054
    Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    Website: www.ddai.ie/driving-disability/driving-lessons/
    (lessons available in Ballindine only)

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Car Adaptations

There is an increasing number of firms in Ireland that manufacture and install adaptations in vehicles for people with disabilities. These can be simple steering attachments or hand controls for accelerating and braking for disabled drivers, to lower floored vehicles and converted wheelchair passenger vehicles for people who wish to travel in their wheelchair.

You should always check prices with the adaptation firms and shop around for the best value. It is advisable to get a written quote before committing to purchase.

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Driving and disability

Having a medical condition or disability does not necessarily mean you cannot or will not be allowed to drive. You must tell the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) about any medical condition or disability that may affect your driving

For many people with a disability the most suitable method of transport is to have their own vehicle to travel in, either as a driver or as a passenger. Having a disability and being a car driver are not incompatible.

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Safety

Airbags and Drivers with Disabilities

In a car accident, a driver's head can sometimes hit the steering wheel or the front windscreen causing serious injury or even death. An airbag is designed to inflate and cushion the head to prevent it from hitting the steering wheel.

Drivers with disabilities often use a steering attachment to assist them when turning the wheel. This can be a spinner, a peg or sometimes a three pronged grip, or can be a system used in conjunction with an infrared device for the secondary controls.

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Car Insurance

Another issue to consider when buying a car is car insurance which is a legal requirement in Ireland.The Irish Insurance Federation insists that disabled drivers are not charged extra based on their disability. Some insurance brokers have discounted deals with insurance companies and it really can pay to shop around. A company with much experience in this area is:

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Adapting your vehicle

You can get your vehicle adapted so that driving is safe and comfortable and getting in and out of the car is easier. There are motoring accessories available for people with upper or lower body disabilities or both.

Motoring accessories for disabled people

These accessories include:

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Driving Lessons for People with Disabilities

Driving Tuition
The Irish Wheelchair Association and the Disabled Drivers Association provide assessment, advice and tuition to persons with disabilities who wish to receive driving lessons or who may wish to resume driving. The DDA runs three week courses, Monday to Friday at their residential centre in Ballindine. Funding for tuition only is usually provided by the Health Boards and the DDA provides accomodation and meals free of charge. For further information contact the DDA.

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Buying a Vehicle

Buying a car can be a huge expense and cause people a lot of problems. It is strongly recommended that you shop around for the 'best deal' for yourself. Almost all motor manufacturers offer discounts to disabled drivers who are in receipt of the Primary Medical Certificate.

This discount is approximately 3% and is separate to any deal done between the purchaser and the garage. The best advice seems to be:

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