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How long after your SAH did you start driving  

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  1. 1. How long after your SAH did you start driving

    • within 2 months
      18
    • within 12 months
      42
    • over a year
      9
    • still not driving
      16


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I didn't have a restriction, but I didn't drive until I took a driving test with my OT. That was about at 4months. I was cleared to drive everywhere except the highways...this was fine as I never drive on highways anyway.

Now, I look 3 ways before pulling into traffic...Left, Right for cars and up for geese. I am still really fascinated(Distracted) by geese. Who the heck knows why. I really could care less about them as I write this...but I am aware that they are a distraction for me.

~Kris

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  • 10 months later...
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Hi All Some good news to share on a Friday afternoon. I have heard from the DVLA today and I have been cleared to drive with no restrictions x

Hi   From what I understand one of the critical things is whether you have had surgery e.g. an EVD (as I did), a coiling etc. If you have then it is an automatic licence suspension. If howev

Well done now you can take me shopping  joke xxxx   Glad you have it sorted out Nicola and good luck   Win xxxxx

For my wife it was 6-7 months, we deliberately did not rush her back to driving - she was off work for just over 7 months and without driving she walked EVERY day, at first 100 yards...gradually improving to walking 2 miles per day at which time her recovery speeded up.

Strangely DVLA did not have a concern about SAH, they were moe concerned with her eyesight with Tersons in left eye, even though by this time it was mostly cleared AND you can legally drive with only one eye.

Best approach we found was "be realistic" with yourself, back it up with doctors advice....

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Hi all, I do not know how the DVL works, my licence was taken away for9 mths, but restored after test. Now at 70 yrs only 5mths after a very stringent driving test, I have again got to wait at least 3mths befor I can again drive a trailor. They must be the DVLA at Swansea, so it would be interesting. to know how they decide who can drive. And who can not!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm in New Zealand, and have been told not to drive until I have been assessed by the neurosurgical until on Nov 8, I had my SAH on Sep 14, I have my doubts as to whether this information has been passed onto the licensing authority. I am aiming to start work again on the 4 Nov so will probably drive for the 4 days until my review,

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  • 7 months later...
Guest Mike

I had the opportunity to apply last year I nearly did but thought hey what if then the thought told me no way should you drive, so I asked the DVLA to totally revoke my license, they did but I had already filled in the form to do so but tore it up, the best thing I ever did.

 

Then this month I was told I had developed a bad blind spot in my right eye I was unaware of, in my case that was the right thing to do, as I could not forgive myself if I hurt a totally random member of the public or worse, everyone must make up their own minds whether to

re-apply but ask yourself this, am I really a fit person to drive? your heart says YES your injury say NO, if you can answer no to one of these then do not ask to drive, it's not fair on the unsuspecting public is it?

 

I hope I have not offended but in reality our ability has changed, reading some of the comments made thus far makes it easy for me not to drive as much I would love to.

 

Mike

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  • 3 months later...

Hi Mike,

Had my SAH 19th December, drove around an industrial estate 3 weeks later, got my licence back 5 weeks later. Everything was a bit scarier, it's difficult to articulate, but it's as if you are learning junctions again. Pedals, wheel etc. are fine, it's the stopping at roundabouts and judging pulling out that is trickiest. BUT, stick with it, it all comes back fast. I drove an F1 simulator for an hour 10 weeks on and then pushed a Mclaren around a race track last month. Wonderful feeling! Good luck

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After posting my reply to you Mike, I read all the other comments, so I thought I better temper mine with the downside. Still can't manage more than 3 hour journeys. No radio or I get distracted and a headache develops. Sat nav is a must to keep the thinking to a minimum. Stop for a coffee, decaff of course.

I try hyper-miling to stop me driving fast (ex courier), it works as I arrive more relaxed and it saves me money too.

kpaggett, I woke my daughter up crying with laughter at the geese thing. With me it's women with long legs......

Good luck all.

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Hi, I had similar confusing advice and finally got to the bottom of it, I think.

The therapist said six months of no driving. She was confusing this with the old system where they had to crack your head open to fix the SAH. That is six months minimum.

With the new method of going through the groin, it's only six months if you have a seizure. Otherwise, it's when tour consultant says you can drive again.

The law is that you must inform DVLA and they will revoke your licence unless your consultant clears you to drive. He acts as the person the DVLA deals with and will want letters from ophthalmologist and GP in my case. The position is that you are banned if you do not supply the information within x days, or the consultant does not support you driving.

 

When you want your licence back, you write to the DVLA again, they write to the consultant, weigh all the current evidence using a committee (anonymous) and then grant you your licence back in writing.

I was lucky. I went for a routine appointment with the consultant at 5 weeks and he said I could drive home. I remember driving back doing 90mph down the a14 in my wife's fiat 500, laughing and crying at the same time. Emotional stuff, this SAH....

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  • 1 year later...

In the states there is no requirement to report an SAH event to the BMV. They have to report seizure disorders so go figure. I was not comfortable just giving driving a go after I felt confident enough to do so. This was at about 5 month post SAH. I consulted with my GP and he recommended a local driving school that trained police and firemen on first response technique.

 

I thought great I'll really be hell on wheels now! What I got was a very thorough evaluation, written and oral testing, a driving test on their obstacle course, then an evaluation in actual traffic. It was a total of about 4 hours and well worth it to me. A few days later I was mailed a written evaluation and a certificate stating I was competent to drive again. This I passed on to my insurance company to alleviate any liability issues.

 

I would recommend anyone, at least in the States to go through this process. Not only is it a confidence booster it also makes sure you are not endangering anyone on the road.

Bill C

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just got it back last week after 15+ months. Very frustrating period - especially for my wife. Long time due to ending up on a drain after the initial operation, requiring statutory 6 months revocation of licence prior to reapplying, then it was 9+ months since application went in. I contacted a solicitor who deals with DVLA issues and was told that DVLA were doing nothing wrong and that I was doing all that they could (phoning for progress every 2-3 weeks), but DVLA are just pitifully, pitifully slow, and they are dealing with 20,000 cases.

 

Lost the C1 and D1 entitlements - I can reapply for these after 10 years symptom free(!) I used to drive minibuses occasionally, so a small sense of loss, especially as I was told that after the AVM (fistula) repair, I was at no greater risk of re-occurrence than anyone else. 

 

When clinicians tell you to get back on with your life, DVLA's bureaucracy just cuts across this, and DVLA doesn't seem to realise the final symbolism of freedom from the condition that they are denying with their bureaucratic delays - every answer of "up to nine weeks, or more" is just a further slap.

 

Following the Glasgow bin wagon tragedy, I fully support DVLA being thorough - but not being just slow when they are dealing with people's futures. I was told only way to fast-track a decision would be if I was at imminent danger of losing my livelihood if I had no licence.

 

Good luck to all waiting in the system

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  • 4 weeks later...

It's been 19+ years of no driving for me.  One of my visual deficits is eye ataxia; add that to constant motion nausea and there's just no way.  Fortunately for me there's a state program which has me being picked up and then taken home whenever I have a medical or dental appointment.

 

It's been rather difficult losing the independence; it is what it is though, and I think I'm fortunate having learned patience.

 

Susan :)

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Sue I empathise with you re the driving. I have not been allowed to drive for 11 years now due to constant dizziness. It hit hard at first, giving up my car was like losing a limb and it has taken away some independence. I have got used to it but there are still times when I wish I was allowed to drive and not be dependant on someone or taxis to ferry me about.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi, I am going through the process with the DVLA at the moment. I had a Perimesencephalic SAH on the 9th September this year. I was told by the doctors in neurology I must inform DVLA about it. The doctors said not to drive until I had my review appointment as I was due to have an MRA and I would be reassessed. I knew I couldn't have driven at that point as my perception of speed was totally gone.

 

My first week out of hospital I phoned DVLA who said that I could fill a form in online and they would start processing it but they did say when your doctor tells you that you are fit to drive you can drive and the DVLA will eventually get in touch with my doctors for their report and they will get back to me with their answer. I have had a letter to say they were sending a letter out this week.

 

I did have a six week review with my consultant and he arranged for a further appointment with me for this coming Monday, 14th December, due to a misty looking area on the MRA done in September after the haemorrhage. I have just had a second MRA this week. I do feel ready to drive again and hope he will say I can and by that time my consultant may have DVLA's paperwork through.

 

It may then take another 6 to 9 weeks to hear from DVLA, but they say with your doctor's verbal clearance you are free to drive.

I phoned my car insurance company and they have said, they go by what DVLA say to me. If My doctor oks it, DVLA will ok it then I am covered by my insurance, but still they will collect a report and let you know.

 

It will be short trips out with my husband at my side for confidence in the first place and I fully understand about the radio going off. My mind can't take a lot of that, such a shame as I love singing in the car. I hope for that enjoyment to return.

 

Sorry I have gone on abit there, just wanted to mention what DVLA are saying and doing at present. I just hope my scan is clear and my doctor can see that I am well apart from the frustration I get which then causes my neck to ache and my head to jangle. My tiredness is more a sign of telling me to slow down and enjoy life and look about me, driving does that for me.

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Hi I drove about 5 months after my consultant said it was ok for me to drive. Look up dvla section 88. Dvla said whilst they have my license if my consultant said its ok to drive it is also the same with my insurance. It's a loop hole. My license took well over a year before dvla finally sent it back they are definitely in no hurry. But if your doctor/consultant and you feel well enough to drive. Happy driving xx

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  • 1 month later...

I started driving again within 2 weeks of being released.  The doctor never mentioned any restrictions  My night vision had been bothering me a bit and after the SAH it seemed a bit worse, so I got some glasses to use.  Other than that, I have no unusual issues with driving.

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It's a bit of an anomaly post SAH with driving .... it all depends as to whether you've had surgery and what type or what you drive, as in HGV ... seizures etc .... you need to look up the DVLA site for info.... and also inform your insurance company that you've been declared, fit to drive. It shouldn't increase your annual premium. 

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  • 3 months later...

Sorry to resurrect this thread again but DVLA - gah!

 

Had my SAH 2 December 2015. Needed EVD for two weeks. No clips, coils or shunts. Last time I took paracetamol for a headache was mid-January. Was advised by staff in hospital to inform DVLA. Duly did so. Was delighted to receive a letter from the DVLA 2 February 2016 telling me that they had contacted my consultant and were waiting for reply. Received another letter from DVLA telling me that they had not received an answer and had sent a reminder.

 

Have had to resort to contacting PALS team as despite many many promises from consultant's secretary the form has not been completed and returned. Have telephoned DVLA umpteen times to check if anything has arrived. Called again yesterday. This is what I was told. My licence is still current and valid. If my doctor says it is okay to drive then it is ok for me to drive however they will still wait to hear from my consultant.

 

On the form I indicated that I had had an EVD. My consultant told me that I could not drive for six months because of EVD. Where does it state "statutory six months ban" after EVD? Let's be pedantic, would that relate to date of insertion or date of removal!? I do know that it can take two weeks for information to be put onto the DVLA system after receipt. Looks like I was right to start pushing all those weeks' ago though...

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Okay. This looks promising:

 

Voluntarily surrendered licences

You can drive while your licence is being renewed if you meet all the following conditions:

  • you have the support of your doctor to continue driving
  • you had a valid licence
  • you only drive under the conditions of the previous licence
  • your application is less than a year old
  • your last licence wasn’t revoked or refused for medical reasons
  • you’re not currently disqualified
  • you weren’t disqualified as a high risk offender on or after 1 June 2013
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Hi, hate to tell you this but as you had an EVD you are not allowed to drive until the DVLA say so. Your licence will be revoked. The 6 months runs from the date you had the EVD removed. It looks like the hospital is your problem, do you have a nurse specialist you could contact? They are often very helpful in such matters.

I had my sah on 10 Feb 2015, evd removed approx 20th Feb - I did not drive again until 3 December 2015. It looks like you are still at a very early stage in the process. The DVLA are bad and if you have a problem with the hospital too it just compounds matters.

Below is DVLA advice can be found with this link: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/neurological-disorders-assessing-fitness-to-drive#subarachnoid-haemorrhage

You need to scroll to the bottom of the page and read under hydrocephalus.

Intraventricular shunt or extraventricular drain – insertion or revision of upper end of shunt or drain Group 1

Car and motorcycle Group 2

Bus and lorry ✘- Must not drive and must notify the DVLA. Driving may be relicensed after 6 months if there is no debarring residual impairment likely to affect safe driving. ✘- Must not drive and must notify the DVLA.

Hope you get things moving soon but in the meantime once you get the letter from DVLA telling you not to drive you will be entitled to a free bus pass - see my thread on the help and advice forums.

Good luck!

Clare xx

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Hi Spinny, just to add to Clare's comments, I had an EVD and a word of caution get your forms in with the DVLA ASAP. The 6 months starts from when they revoke your licence, not any clinical date. Yes, I am sure! I wrote and argued this point with them on a number of occasions. Their response was that the revocation of a licence cannot be backdated. Sorry probably not what you want to hear.

 

Also I would try to get them to agree for you to start the re-application process as early as they will let you. I did this by getting support from my consultant and GP and taking it to the DVLA. However, it still took months and months, in the end I wasn't driving for probably 9 to 10 months. I wrote a snotty letter to them complaining, which at least they did read and respond to, but didn't do me any good.

 

Stay on them, chase when necessary i.e if they say six weeks, then at six weeks and a day give them a call, watch that your consultant gets the information to them promptly (I kept on the good side of my consultants PA and she was a huge help). Another reason to cause was that the had all my information sitting there waiting to be marked ready for review, but not until I phoned and caused it, did they mark my file for review and then I still had to wait 2+ months. 

 

Sorry I know this is probably not the news you wanted to hear, and hopefully they will deal with you more efficiently than they did with me. Get the forms in and concentrate on your recovery, and as Clare said the free bus pass can make life easier. BTW  when and if you look at going back to work and on't have your licence back, if you were hugely reliant on a car to get to work and couldn't reasonably do it by public transport then "access to work" will fund taxi's (with some limitations and caveats) so might be worth looking into.

 

Al the best

 

Greg.

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Also not good news to add - I had my haemorrhage Jan 2015 and had an EVD and then a shunt fitted on 7th Feb. I informed the DVLA in May 2015 and they contacted my consultant, who did not gt back to them. They sent a reminder and then eventually had to go to my GP instead. They received all the information they needed by November 2015 and I am still awaiting their decision.

 

I have been phoning every 6-8weeks for an update and was told on Tuesday that they are currently working on cases from October 2015. I know that my case is a bit complex as I also have a heart condition and have been left with spinal damage, however they do seem to be taking a while.

 

My advice would be to contact your doctor/consultant if you can to ask them to respond to the DVLA. The DVLA also told me that I could drive if I could get a doctor to agree to it, however in my experience they are usually not keen to do so without DVLA approval so it is a bit of a no-win situation. Greg is also right about the support you can get. I live in a rural area with no public transport so Access to Work pay for taxis for me to go to work.

 

Good luck with everything.

Gemma

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Thank you Clare. At last, in black and white. On the DVLA's own website. However, my licence has not been revoked, it is current and valid. I have had assurances from the PALS team at the John Radcliffe that the form is on consultants desk for completion and return. I have now also had a letter from the DVLA "we are considering your fitness to drive and have decided that you should have a medical examination..." What date do I get from the surgery? The 15th which is 6 months to the day that the EVD was removed. Too funny.

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