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Older drivers urged to disclose serious medical conditions

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
Nearly half of older drivers with a serious medical condition fail to inform the driving authority, putting them at risk of facing a fine as well as prosecution.

New research from Direct Line Car Insurance revealed that 28% of drivers aged 65+ have a serious medical condition, such as diabetes or epilepsy, that must be disclosed to the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).

But 49% admit they have not done so and of this number, 57% said they don’t need to because they don’t think their condition affects their ability to drive.

One in eight (12%) say they were not aware of this obligation and 27% cite ‘other’ reasons.

Insurer Direct Line is now urging all motorists to disclose medical conditions to their insurer and the DVLA to remain within the law.

With more than a million motorists over the age of 65, they risk a £1,000 fine, prosecution and the safety of other road users by failing to disclose serious medical conditions.

And it’s not just older drivers as across the UK, 24% of drivers have “notifiable conditions” but almost a tenth of these motorists fail to disclose them.

Top tips if you have a medical condition

With more than four million drivers with a full licence aged 70 or over, and 230 drivers aged 100+, Direct Line gives these tips for motorists with a serious medical condition:

  • Contact DVLA if you’re unsure whether or not you need to disclose any information. If your doctor has told you that you need to stop driving, you will need to send your licence to the DVLA.
  • If you’ve a medical condition and are unsure if it should be disclosed to the DVLA, check its website.
  • If you need to surrender your licence, do it voluntarily as it may mean you can start driving again sooner. There are different rules depending on if your licence was voluntarily surrendered, or if it was revoked or refused for medical reasons.
  • Once your licence is taken away or surrendered, you’ll receive a letter from DVLA telling you if there’s a period of time before you can get a new one. You can then re-apply eight weeks before the end of this period via a D1 application form. You may need to send evidence of your fitness to drive.

Don’t risk invalidating your insurance

Gus Park, director of motor at Direct Line, said: “Regardless of age, drivers that have a notifiable or worsening medical condition or disability must disclose this to the DVLA and also to their insurer to stay within the law.

“Even those who feel their physical status won’t affect their driving must still disclose their condition, as failing to do so means they risk a hefty fine and even prosecution if they have an accident.

“We’re urging anyone that thinks they may have a condition or a disability they need to disclose to contact the DVLA and their insurer as they risk invalidating their licence and insurance if they don’t.”

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