The hormonal changes of the menopause can be uncomfortable, distressing and unpredictable, and with the number of people experiencing menopause expected to reach 1.1 billion people by 2025, it is a health issue that affects a huge section of the global population.
It can cause debilitating symptoms, such as anxiety, migraines, forgetfulness, fatigue, mood swings and hot flushes. This can impact a person’s life in many different ways, such as relationships and work life, with 1 in 4 people considering leaving their job due to symptoms.
Rebecca Ashton, Head of Research and Policy at IAM RoadSmart said: “The menopause can knock the confidence on the road of even the most experienced drivers, and heightened anxiety and fatigue can make people fearful of driving. Driver wellbeing and safety are key priorities for our charity, and we know that suffering in silence only makes anxiety and stress worse.
“While you do not need to disclose the menopause to the DVLA, if you feel it is impacting your ability to drive, you can get in touch with your GP or a specialist menopause nurse to see if there is anything that they might help to manage your symptoms, such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT).
“You can then help get your confidence back through the courses available at IAM RoadSmart, where you can book time with a friendly expert who will be able to give you an honest opinion of your driving, and hints and tips on how you can manage the areas you have lost confidence in. It is not a driving test; it is just an informal drive where someone from IAM RoadSmart is able to see what you do well and how we can assist you in any area you are finding difficult.
IAM RoadSmart’s vision is to reduce road deaths to zero and helping to give women and people experiencing the menopause the confidence and knowledge when dealing with these changes is a key step towards this vision, by ensuring people do not feel distressed on the road.
Rececca added: “The key thing is to be aware that this is a huge change for a person to go through, and while it is natural that this will have an impact on your life, it doesn’t need to take over. There are steps you can take to make sure this doesn’t take away your confidence or independence when driving or riding, ensuring all road users can stay safe and enjoy their experience on the road.”
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