Our bespoke driving courses are designed for a range of drivers. We do help a number of drivers that are returning to driving after a head injury, or already drive but need extra help. Whether the head injury was inflicted during a road traffic collision or not isn’t that relevant. What is relevant is that the driver received bespoke, one to one training to help them.

A head injury can have a profound impact on an individual. A head or brain injury when driving can have a dramatic impact, which a driver should be aware of. These include a range of things including:

  1. Ability to maintain a stable position in a lane
  2. Accurate field of vision.
  3. Keeping a good level of concentration over a long period.
  4. Memory ability, such as remembering directions.
  5. Working out solutions to driving related problems.
  6. Hand-eye coordination.
  7. Reaction time – the slower the reaction the greater the risk.
  8. Safety awareness and general judgment and ability.

There can be some red flags, which a head injured driver, or occupant in a vehicle, which is being driven by a head injured driver should look out for. These include:

  1. Driving too fast/slow for the conditions
  2. Poor lane discipline
  3. Suffering from Road Rage easily
  4. Having collisions, dinks and prangs or having near misses
  5. Not processing or reading road signs and speed limit signs
  6. Slow to make key driving decisions – such as should I overtake
  7. Displaying confusion in what are regarded simple driving situations
  8. Poor judging of distance, especially when stopping or turning
  9. Getting tired easily
  10. Driving too quickly up to roundabouts
  11. Entering roundabouts too slowly – not appreciating closing in traffic
  12. Poor peripheral vision – especially at roundabouts where more head movement maybe needed

Below is an account from David Morgan, a survivor of a serious RTC some years ago. Here he talks about his struggles with returning to driving, and while he did receive a great deal of help and and support in many areas, driving wasn’t one of them.

David’s Story:

The car David was in – A Ford Escort XR3i

I had a major car accident way back in 1990 where I sustained a major head  trauma, when a lorry carrying roof trusses deposited its load onto my car. I have absolutely no knowledge of the accident, to the extent that when I woke in hospital, I thought the reason I was there was due to me eating some contaminated food!

I was a business consultant working for a major computer organisation; I was constantly travelling all over the UK, and as such was determined to return to work, and managed to do so 4 months after the accident.   My first day back to work involved a 2 hour journey to Manchester.  I felt very nervous, very tired and apprehensive getting into my car. This was made worse because I had sustained double vision and that made things very tricky. On my journey, I had to pull off the road after about one hour to have a sleep. I’d been driving for over 20 years prior, but now driving was a new experience. I wish I could have spoken with someone who could helped me cope with my driving anxieties.
My GP informed me that because of my traumatic head injury, I would have to relinquish my driving licence for a period of at least 3 months. I was pleased in a way because it released me from the pressure of driving.  So public transport it was for 3 months, after which time my GP, through DVLA, approved my return to driving.
I still was concerned at the thought of driving, but my job required me to drive and so I had to get on with it. I was still very nervous, and I was totally alone with my problems.   I needed someone to hold my hand, to help me understand all aspects associated with driving, much of which had been forgotten following my accident. There was no help that was offered to me to help me come to terms with my anxieties.
I continued working for about 8 months. but the pressure involved with the job, of which driving was a major problem, meant I had to retire 8 months after my accident, even though I had tried my best to get to work as soon as possible. I only wished I had guidance before I returned to work, on the job itself but also on return to driving. Because driving  18,000 miles a year after a major head injury, is a very challenging situation, and in my case was a major factor in my early retirement.
Although I didn’t receive any help with my driving,  I would however, like to mention an excellent charity Headway, which was introduced to me when I was in hospital. They provided a great understanding of what I had experienced, and I went to all their meetings after I was discharged from hospital. I was so pleased with the help I was given, that I was asked to join the Headway Committee, which as  Chairman, I was in a prime position to help similarly affected people come to terms and help with their situation.
One of my first tasks was to contact The Royal Shrewsbury Hospital’s Chief Executive, and explaining the urgent need for help to be made available for other head injured people, he  made a generous offer of the old physiotherapy department for our use. I was amazed at the  offer, and using contacts I had made earlier in my career, managed to get the new building, redecorated and up and running within weeks.  This was in fact the first Shropshire Headway House, where I was pleased to have had a significant role in helping others similarly affected like me. So despite receiving no help with driver training, which I guess wasn’t a big thing back in 1990, this charity provided invaluable help.
How We Can Help:
As a company, we want to be able to help more drivers get back to safer, confident driving after a head injury. Please contact us for more information, and a member of our team will be delighted to help. Alternatively email rob@driversdomainuk.com