Driving with RA

Hi again. I haven't been able to learn to drive first because I couldn't afford to and then because I had uncontrolled epilepsy. My epilepsy has been controlled for over 2yrs now and I am so eager to get that licence. I am sick of being dependant on unreliable buses with rude bus drivers and walking is getting harder.

I would never cope driving a manual car, my left wrist wouldn't like it. I hope I can manage the handbreak but at least you only have to deal with that twice per journey.

I just wondered how people cope with RA in hands and driving, is there anything I can get to help with the handbreak or are splints likely to be enough?

I am nervous and excited and nervous again.

7 Replies

  • I have been looking for something to help me with the handbrake as my automatic care dose not have a park gear and sometimes the handbrake is difficult

  • When you get a car, they now come with electric hand brakes and that consists of a button and it comes on when you turn car off and you just drive away as simple as that Lol, But please pass your tests first Lol, good luck


  • We now have automatics as I just couldn't manage the clutch any more, not safely anyway. We've just changed our car & it's got a foot operated hand break (I know it may sound odd). To take the 'handbrake' off you pull a lever similar to the lever for the bonnet. I've only driven it a couple of times so far (my h is still enamoured with it!) but I've found it easier than a traditional handbreak. You do have the option with automatic of just leaving it in Park & not using the handbreak but I would only advise that on the flat, I can't guarantee if you did that on a hill you'd find your car in the same place you parked it!!

    Good luck with the lessons. I was late to driving as well, well actually I had my provisional licence at 17 but bumped my boyfriend's car (my now h) so it put me off for a long while. In the end my friend was so fed up of me procrastinating she got me the form to reapply. I bought a little Clio in 1995 with an unexpected little windfall & my h taught me in it, I just had professional lessons on the 3 Saturdays leading up to my test & passed first time. I hope you take to it, you'll enjoy the freedom.

  • I think it would be a really good idea to go to a proper disabled driver assessment centre and have an assessment with an instructor who understands disability. They will be able to look at your needs and give you really good advice on what kind of adaptations or type of car would suit you. The link here is one organisation, but there are quite a few different ones around rdac.co.uk/services/

  • I've been driving for over 30 years with both Epilepsy and RA there are times when you'll know yourself when not to drive but motability will help with hand controls or automatic cars are great Never put yourself down if you have a dream to drive a car go for it X X

  • On a journey you will have to put on the handbrake more than twice, almost everythime you stop the car eg traffic lights, hill stops. an automatic vehicle doesn't have a hand brake.

  • We're on our second automatic & our first had a handbrake.

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