Your Health on the Road
30th April 2018
To steal a catch phrase from Britain's most famous highwayman, driving with a medical condition could end up cost you your money or your life. “Dick Turpin”, thankfully, isn't among the health conditions listed on the government's website, but 182 others are. What's more, if you're suffering from something on that list, you can be fined for not informing the DVLA about it.
The point is that a lot of people drive as part of their jobs and that number is going up year by year. That's the main reason why they can claim their yearly tax refunds for travelling to work. Taking to the road is such a fundamental part of our lives that we hardly give a thought to it. After all, how healthy do you have to be to sit behind a steering wheel? Well, the law's answer to that might surprise you. Anything from arthritis to Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome needs to be reported. The diseases and conditions the DVLA's looking out for are pretty wide-ranging, but they all have one thing in common. Everything on the list can affect your ability to drive safely.
Keep in mind that these don't have to be life-threatening or long-lasting conditions you've been dealing with for years. Even a simple ear-ache (labyrinthitis) could land you in trouble if you're in an accident. Labyrinthitis can actually cause a range of symptoms, including headaches, hearing loss and even vertigo. Get into a fender bender while suffering from this without telling the DVLA about your condition, and those headaches will quickly get a lot worse.
The basic penalty for driving without reporting a dangerous medical condition is £1,000. On top of that, you might find yourself looking at a full-on criminal prosecution. Even if you think of yourself as basically healthy, you should really check the list on the government's website. Health is about more than just physical disease, after all. Conditions from anxiety and depression to autism and even certain phobias all need to be reported.
The way you report depends on the condition you have, but it basically boils down to filling out some variety of form. In severe cases, you may actually find yourself required to give up your driving licence. That can happen if you're told to stop driving for 3 months or more by a doctor, for instance. Depending on your health, you may also simply not meet the required standards for driving in the UK. Again, this decision is out of your hands, and driving without a licence is obviously a Very Bad Idea.
You can find the full list of medical conditions you need to report to the DVLA here: https://www.gov.uk/health-conditions-and-driving. Remember, this is about protecting more than just the £1,000 you stand to lose – and it may not be just your own life at stake. We're all spending longer on the roads these days. A lot of us do it for a living. Just be sure your health isn't driving anyone into an early grave.
If you need to file a tax return or think you could be owed a tax rebate, get in touch with RIFT. We've been in the business since 1999 so we know what we're talking about and we always like to make sure you don't miss out on what you're owed.