Can I drive with a sprained ankle?

MILD sprains can take a couple of weeks to heal, though more serious injuries can take months to get back to normal.  

If you own a motor vehicle, you need to be aware of how the injury could affect your ability to drive.

Can I drive with a sprained ankle?

Sprains are a common injury affecting the ligaments and muscles. 

It’s best not to drive if you’re experiencing severe swelling and bruising or if you have been medically advised not to.

You should not drive if you are wearing a cast or plaster as it severely reduces your range of movement. 

It’s important to assess your ability to drive before you get behind the wheel.


Getting behind the wheel with an injury could cost you £1,000 if you don’t tell the DVLACredit: Getty

To test your ankle function:

Pretend you are pressing down on a car accelerator or brake pedal quickly and hard. 

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Now bring your toes back towards you. If your movement is hesitant, causes pain or is limited, your ability to drive safely will be affected.

You should not drive until you can operate the foot pedals of the vehicle without any pain.

Can I drive with a sprained wrist? 

It is possible to drive with a mild wrist injury but proceed with caution.

It’s important to think about any pain relief or medication you are currently taking, these might impact your ability to think clearly and slow down your reaction time.

Section 91 of the Highway Code states: “Driving when you are tired greatly increases your risk of collision”.

If your injury has made it difficult for you to sleep, don’t drive until you’ve had an opportunity to get a full night’s rest – driving while sleepy can be dangerous. 

To test your wrist function:

Pretend you are holding a steering wheel. 

Can you make fists with both hands strong enough to allow you to hold a steering wheel safely?

Can you turn the imaginary wheel all the way to the right and then all the way to the left?

Do I have to tell DVLA about an injury?

You don’t have to tell the Driver and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA)  if your injury is likely to affect you for less than three months

But according to you can be fined £1,000 if you don’t tell them about a medical condition that seriously affects your driving.

This applies to all kinds of licences, not just cars and motorcycles, but bus, coach and lorry licences too. 

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If you drive a heavy goods or public service vehicle, like a bus or train the rules may be stricter. 

You should inform your employer of your injury and seek advice from the DVLA.

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