/ Driving with a broken leg

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Hooo - on 15 Mar 2019

I'm killing time in Geneva airport with a newly acquired cast on my left leg and I'm wondering how I'm going to get around for the next six weeks. As far as I can see there's no reason why I shouldn't drive my van. It's automatic, so I don't need my left leg to drive it.
I did a bit of Googling, but couldn't find a reliable answer as to whether there are legal implications. DVLA just say you have to notify them if it's for more than three months. All the other links are just people spouting off on forums, and as usual the responses range from "don't even consider it" to "I drove with both legs and arms in casts". UKC has a far higher quality of spouting off than other forums (IMHO), so can anyone say whether it's allowed or not?
Failing that, can anyone enliven this thread with tales of their mate who shattered both legs, crawled out and then drove to the pub? 

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profitofdoom on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

> Failing that, can anyone enliven this thread with tales of their mate who shattered both legs, crawled out and then drove to the pub? 

Sounds like Cliff Phillips when he decked off Black Spring (HVS 5a) soloing, crawled down to the road, then drove himself to hospital (was it Bangor hospital, I think so)

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Toby_W on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

Just mulling this over trying to think of reasons when..... I pictured a full length leg caste, a minor crash or bump and the thought of never having children due to an unplanned castration from having a caste rammed into you man bits.

OOOwwwww.

Ooooowwwww.

When it comes off do your physio.

Mend well.

Cheers

Toby

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Luke90 on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

The lack of clarity about the actual legal position suggests to my non-expert eye that as long as your insurer is happy then you're fine to drive. You should probably check their small print very carefully.

One option would be to call the insurers for a chat, which will get you certainty but not necessarily the outcome you want! Seeking forgiveness (which it hopefully wouldn't come to) rather than permission is more uncertain.

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antdav - on 15 Mar 2019

I've been in this position. Insurance company said that as it was an automatic, they are happy for me to drive as long as the doctor says there is no loss of ability. Even got them to send me a letter explaining their permission so they couldn't argue after, it helped that they were a Cardiff based call centre so at least there were no language issues. 

Doc said the cast wouldn't affect driving abilities as long as pain meds were OTC and well managed. 

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Timmd on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

I cycled home with a broken wrist after falling off my mtb, then felt hardcore after reading of people needing rescuing after breaking their wrist while cycling.

It was flat and I went one handed ish. ;-)

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nniff - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

I drove myself to hospital with a dislocated right ankle.  It was the most wretched, ashen-faced, eye-watering experience, relying on leaving a great distance between me and the car in front and one hand on the hand brake.  Once I had my foot in a semi-cast, I was sofa-bound.

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Hooo - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to antdav:

That's the sort of thing I'm looking for, thanks. I will call the insurance co, but from past experience the call gets answered by someone who knows nothing and says no to everything. I want to be forearmed with enough information to get them to at least look into it properly.

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Luke90 on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

Maybe you should email them as a new customer to ask whether they would cover you? If they say yes to that in writing, you could use that as a starting point for the actual discussion.

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nathan79 - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

Never mind the insurance companies thoughts on it, I wonder what the police position is? 

I imagine if you had any sort of incident you wouldn't have a leg to stand on..... (I'll get me coat)

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Flinticus - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

I drove from the Cairngorms to Glasgow with a broken left ankle in the depths of night. Hospital in the morning after a few hours sleep. A clean break. Very little pain.

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Denni on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

When I snapped my achilles, I was in one of those plastic boots for 8 months up to just below my knee. 

As a stay at home dad and my wife away, there was no way I couldn't be without a car so I told my insurance company, they duly noted it on my records and asked to get a letter from my doc who happily obliged saying there was no reason I couldn't drive an automatic. Luckily I had one so no problems.

Didn't cause any problems at all and I even asked the police who said there weren't/aren't? any direct rules about it. They were happy with the docs letter and insurance say so.

Post edited at 17:13
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McHeath - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

>  I want to be forearmed with enough information 

I thought it was your leg?

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Neil Williams - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

FWIW I refrained from driving when I broke my finger (yes, finger) because occasionally I'd fluff the gear change, whack it and be consumed with pain (smaller injuries tend to hurt disproportionately, think papercuts!) - I felt that would be a dangerous distraction.

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wilkie14c - on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

I think someone once smashed in their legs and crawled back down the ogre 

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elsewhere on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

A mate broke his ankle ice skating but was fine for the pub crawl afterwards.

The next day he woke up with a hangover and went to A&E.

*for the ankle, not the hangover

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pec on 15 Mar 2019
In reply to Hooo:

When I had my right ankle fused I was told by the consultant that I would have been able to drive an automatic if it had been my left ankle.

Post edited at 18:12
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Hooo - on 19:35 Fri
In reply to wilkie14c:

I seem to recall there was a post about that on here?

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Hooo - on 19:37 Fri
In reply to All

So it's looking pretty good then. I'll talk to the doc and then check with the insurance.

Ta

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gethin_allen on 19:52 Fri
In reply to Hooo:

I know someone who has a below the knee amputation and drives both a standard automatic and also an adapted manual campervan.

So a broken leg should be fine as long as you can sit down ok.

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gribble - on 20:02 Fri
In reply to Hooo:

I broke both heels and my right leg, and ended up in a wheel chair for a few months.  The day I was out of the chair, I drove, albeit still with a cast on my right leg.  The only problem I found was when the toe bit of the cast on my foot got caught on the bottom of the accelerator pedal when trying to press the brake.  Turns out that was quite a big problem if you want to slow down.

Climbing was OK, but I needed to take a crutch up with me (hanging off my harness) for the descents.

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ianstevens - on 09:16 Sat
In reply to Timmd:

> I cycled home with a broken wrist after falling off my mtb, then felt hardcore after reading of people needing rescuing after breaking their wrist while cycling.

> It was flat and I went one handed ish. ;-)

Also managed this unenviable task in my your. Probably wouldn’t want to repeat it now though!

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Hooo - on 11:56 Sat
In reply to Timmd:

I managed to drag myself 10m back onto the piste, that was enough for me. I am even more in awe of Joe Simpson now. 

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Rick Graham on 12:37 Sat
In reply to Hooo:

I broke my left ankle.

After a discussion with my GP, who said I could drive, I passed this information on to my insurer.

They were fine with it.

Edit  Manual  gearbox.

Post edited at 12:39
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jkarran - on 13:02 Sat
In reply to Hooo:

I turned my right foot into a non load bearing cantaloupe in Ilkley quarry some years back. Drove home with the left foot and took to my bed for a couple of days.

As it's in a pot I'd get a note from your doc and check with your insurer.

Jk

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Dax H - on 20:25 Sat
In reply to Hooo:

If the insurance say yes get it in writing. One accident and you can bet your life the recording of the phone call for training purposes will be missing. 

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Timmd on 22:30 Sat
In reply to ianstevens:

> Also managed this unenviable task in my your. Probably wouldn’t want to repeat it now though!

It felt like I was regressing to childhood a little bit, in being at home at the time and having my arm in a pot, getting the cast off again was lovely. 

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