Will my cousin automatically lose her driving license after 'freezing'

Hi folks
My cousin is in her early 80s and has to re-apply for her driving license because of her PD diagnosis about 8 years ago.

In the last year she has had two occasions when she has frozen. It was when she was out walking the dogs, and fortunately fellow walkers got her home both times.
She is anxious she will automatically lose her license because of this. Is that the case?

I think there are mitigating circumstances - her husband has advanced cancer, had to hospitalised, caught covid-19 and there were several gruelling months, (traumatic at times) in the summer as she nursed him at home as he rapidly declined. She got exhausted and her anxiety increased dramatically.

After his death she has bounced back, looks and sounds much better.

She really appreciates being able to nip down to the local shops, post office and garden centre, or to drive somewhere nice to walk the dogs. She doesn’t have the confidence to drive long trips.

If there is any chance she won’t automatically lose her license, I’d like to reassure her, to save her several weeks of worry.

Thanks in advance


Hi @Nicey123,

Welcome to the forum. It sounds like your cousin has been going through quite the ordeal recently - I can certainly understand the anxiety she has been experiencing.

Driving and licensing concerns are not uncommon for PWP, as I’m sure our community members can attest to, but occasional freezing doesn’t necessarily mean the end of your cousin’s driving career.

Until others arrive and start sharing their experiences with you, you can read over some of the resources we have on driving and Parkinson’s and navigating the licensing agency. There may be some information there that could help ease or reassure your cousin.

I would also highly recommend reaching out to one of our advisers on our helpline on 0808 800 0303. They are extremely knowledgeable on all things related to Parkinson’s and can provide you and your cousin with some valuable insights on this.

Best wishes,
Forum Moderation Team

1 Like

Hi Nicey, I can understand your concern over your Cousin, but look at it the other way and I don’t want to sound disrespectful, but because of your Cousins age (80) she is at that age when anything can happen,not only just the freezing but for her own safety. You do have to tell the DVLA if she has had any ‘freezing episodes’, I know she has had them when she has been walking out, but the trouble is they can happen at any time. I know there is the argument of ‘loosing her independence’ also which is unfortunate, but she has to realise it would have had to come sooner or later especially having Parkinsons (she won’t be as quick as she used to be). My Mum gave up her driving licence at the age of 84 for her own safety and for the safety of others, even so she was still active and is 90 now! We take her where she wants to go. Please explain this to her, it’s for her own good in the end, her safety and for the safety of other road users and pedestrians

Sheila x I’m 68 have Parkinsons and will be in the same position sooner or later, I know what my choice will be!

Hi @Nicey123 I’m with @sheffy on this. As a cyclist I would really rather there wasn’t an 80 year old with Parkinsons and a history of freezing in charge of 1 ton of metal on the roads…

Thanks for giving this information, I’ll be sure to keep an eye on this thread.