Can I learn to drive with ADHD?

ADHD is short for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and the name pretty much describes all aspects of the disorder. It affects a sufferers behaviour, making it trickier for them to maintain concentration on a task. ADHD causes hyperactivity which can also make it hard to control actions. Most sufferers are diagnosed at an early age as it is easy to spot signs in the learning and development stage of a child’s life. There are many different researched causes of the disorder, in some cases, it is through genetics and is inherited, and in other cases, it can be caused by a chemical unbalance in the brain.

As ADHD makes concentration trickier to maintain, tasks that are already rather difficult to grasp at first, such as learning to drive are made even harder. With the right instructor and a determination to pass, driving with ADHD can be easily achievable.

What Is It Like Driving With ADHD?

Driving with ADHD can be a complex task. The attention deficit trait of ADHD makes it harder to stay on task, and even the smallest distraction can cause people who have the disorder to lose concentration quickly. While driving, there is a whole host of potential distractions such as vehicle noises, alarms and even mobile phone notifications, all of which runs the risk of taking your eyes off the road. Research shows that this makes people living with ADHD two to four times more likely to be involved in an accident as even taking your eye off the road for a couple of seconds, doubles the risk of a crash.

A known characteristic of ADHD is risk-taking and unlikelihood to plan situations ahead, both of which are caused by hyperactivity. Speeding and inability to follow road signs are the main features of driving which will be negatively affected by the high level of hyperactivity.

Do You Have To Tell The DVSA If You Have ADHD?

You are still able to take driving lessons and drive in day to day situations if you are diagnosed with ADHD. If you do have severe ADHD, then it is highly recommended to speak to seek advice from your local doctor. You are legally obliged to inform the DVLA if you have ADHD, and if you fail to, you may be faced with up to a £1,000 fine. The process is simple, and all you will be asked to do is complete a confidential medical form and submit it to the DVLA.

Man Driving On An Empty Road

Tips For Driving With ADHD

If you are planning to book driving lessons or are currently struggling during lessons, take a look at our tips for driving with ADHD.

  • Look around for instructors to ensure you learn with someone you feel comfortable with, take advantage of taster sessions. We have many instructors in our driving school franchise who are experienced in teaching pupils with different learning difficulties. A few years ago we had a pupil who came to driveJohnson’s after a bad experience with their previous driving school while taking driving lessons in Kettering. The pupil had ADHD, and after informing their former instructor, he seemed to be incapable of tailoring lessons to meet their pupil’s preferred method of teaching. After utilising one of our taster lessons in which one of our instructors trailed several different teaching methods until they found one that worked perfectly. The pupil continued to smash their test first time and are now enjoying being on the roads!
  • Make yourself aware of the Highway Code and the laws surrounding driving.
  • Actively check your surroundings, make it a routine to look in all mirrors regularly, so you are conscious of precisely what is going on around you. This will make it easier to spot potential hazards and give yourself time think through how to resolve the issue.
  • Limit as many distractions as possible, for example, put your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode while driving and refrain from listening to loud music. Also, avoid driving with passengers who will distract your driving until you feel confident.
  • Plan trips in advance, if you know your exact directions and the route you plan to go, you will be considerably less likely to panic.
  • Practice makes perfect! Whether you are taking lessons or have passed your test, you can never have too much practice, and you will always come across a new situation to tackle. For extra training taking a pass plus course would be a useful consideration.
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