East Anglian DriveAbility

The East Anglian assessment
centre for people with disabilities

01842 753 029

Frequently Asked Questions

Driving Assessment

Is there anywhere to buy a snack?

We are unable to provide snacks at our centres, but we can offer you hot drinks, water and somewhere to eat a packed lunch in comfort. There are several places locally to buy food to eat in or take away. If you are diabetic please make sure you bring a snack, even if you don’t think you will want it.

Can I park close to the centre?

Yes, we have several designated parking spaces outside our centres. Some are marked with a "disabled" symbol. This is only to deter the general public from using them. They are for your use, so please DO use them. You do not have to be a blue badge holder, or have a mobility problem at all.

Will I be able to use my car for the assessment?

No, unless you have specific driver controls on your car which are unlike any we have here. The reason for this is safety. Our vehicles are all fitted with dual controls, are fully insured and are maintained to the highest standard. The driving instructors rarely use the dual controls but they have avoided some potentially dangerous situations in the past. If you are using adaptations for the first time you will be glad of the reassurance they provide.

We understand that it takes a few minutes to get used to a different car and we allow fully for this. We have both manual and automatic vehicles, of various sizes.

Do I have to drive to driving test standard?

Absolutely not. We need you to demonstrate that you can drive safely in a variety of different situations. If you can do that, we are happy. If there are improvements that we feel you could make to your driving, we will advise you.

What does the assessment involve?

The assessment is in 2 sections;

The first is in the centre looking at the skills you need in order to drive and the second is on the road.

  • You will start off with the therapist who will explain the assessment to you. You will be asked about what driving you have done in the past and what you do at present. We will need to see your drivers licence. The therapist will then assess your range of movement, strength and co-ordination by asking you to copy some basic movements seated in a chair.
  • Your eyesight will be checked by asking you to read number plates at the legally required distance using your glasses if you need them and your peripheral vision will also be assessed (what you see around the edges when you look straight ahead).
  • We may ask you to do some basic cognitive and perceptual tests. These look at the way your brain interprets what you see around you and the way you use that information to make decisions and plan.
  • Then you will use the assessment rig. On here we can check your steering, braking and reaction speeds.

If after the first section we are happy that you will be able to manage a car safely you will progress to the on-road section.

  • You will be given time to get used to the car and any adaptations you are using for the first time. We are looking for safe driving and nothing more. The route takes you around Thetford and includes a variety of road and traffic features. The full route lasts about 50 minutes but if this is too long for you please discuss this with us. Obviously if you are using new controls for the first time we do not expect you to be brilliant with them. All we are looking for is potential to manage them after lessons.
  • When you get back from your drive the driving advisor and therapist will talk to you about their recommendations. This may include information about adaptations (if we feel you need them), where you can have them done and driving instructors locally who can give you some tuition to help you get used to new controls. We will write you a brief summary to take away with you.
  • A full report will follow and will be sent to you if you have referred yourself or if Motability have referred you. The report will be sent to the DVLA if they referred you but will have nothing in that we have not discussed with you.
  • Although we will endeavour to find ways for you to be able to drive safely, there is a possibility that we may feel you are not safe to drive. If this is the case, we will consider whether or not tuition would bring your driving up to acceptable standard and advise you accordingly.

What do I need to bring?

Bring any glasses that you use for Driving. Reading glasses are also useful. Bring your drivers licence. Bring any medication/ inhalers or snacks you are likely to need.

If you come by car, please bring another driver with you, who is insured to drive the car that you come in (just in case you are unable to drive back for any reason). If you come by public transport, we can pick you up from the bus or train station if you let us know what time you will be arriving.

Is there anything else I need to do before I come for assessment?

Please make sure you have informed the DVLA if you have a medical condition which may effect your driving either now or in the future. It is the legal responsibility of every licence holder to keep the DVLA informed of any relevant health issues. If you have not informed the DVLA, we may not be able to take you out on the road as it could invalidate our insurance. Click here for full DVLA medical rules.

If you have any other questions please ring and talk to us. We are here as a resource and not a threat and our ultimate aim is to keep you driving independently and safely, if at all possible. We will be respectful, objective and honest with you and ask only that you are too. We look forward to meeting and helping you

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