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Driving for the visually impaired

off road driving for the visually impaired...a whole new way to test your senses!

We began instructing the visually impaired after being contacted by Paul in early 2010. Looking for new ways to raise money for his association, he had hit upon off road driving! Quite a thought for someone who couldn’t drive and couldn’t see! Having experienced the difficulty of trying to raise money for charity ourselves, and impressed by Paul’s courage and determination, we felt that if he was mad enough to try, then we certainly would rise to the challenge of helping him!

We have many years of off road training behind us, from military personnel preparing for Afghanistan, to private motorists keen to learn more about their 4x4s, we have also instructed physically disabled people in off road driving, however, we have never considered the challenge of drivers without sight before.

The experience was and is phenomenal, both for the drivers themselves and our 4x4 instructors alike. Driving manual Land Rover Discoveries without dual control, off road and having to put your absolute trust in someone you have never met before is daunting to say the least. It is both intense and challenging, but the courage on display by the visually impaired drivers is extraordinary.

Helping the visually impaired and blind to experience something many of us take for granted is incredibly rewarding. We are as exhilarated by the experience as they are.

As an example, we normally provide the following service:

(Based on a 4x4 vehicle with three people)

Welcome tea/coffee/biscuits and safety briefing
A half an hour familiarisation drive. This is on a flat surfaced area to help new drivers settle into the activity. This is with each person doing the driving.
This is followed by a short rest period, Guide dog rest break too!
A further half an hour drive, on more challenging terrain. (level dependant on the first half hour).
Final debrief tea/coffee and departure.

This is exhausting, as well as requiring high levels of concentration, hence the mid way break! But we can honestly say everyone enjoys taking part.

As we say ‘When was the last time you did something for the first time?’

What other people have to say about our
visually impaired driving days

customer testimonial

Having never driven a motor vehicle, the instructor took James out in the Land Rover Discovery. He taught him how to drive the vehicle off road, the experience was amazing. James said he loved it and really enjoyed going up and down big hills and splashing through loads of water. It was GOOD FUN !

James White-Miller (and Dad)

customer testimonial

A brilliant experience! great instruction for the visually impaired and full sighted, would definately recommend!

Joanne Norris & family

customer testimonial

Brilliant, exhilarating, the instructor was almost as good as me!! Highly recommended for anyone with partial or complete sight problems. Thank you Explore 4x4 for a great experience.

Tony Hurst

customer testimonial

Just recently got back home and thought I would send you a quick email just to say thanks again so much for making it possible for Paul to drive. He has talked about it non stop (all of the way home!!) and kept saying how happy he was to have driven a car. His Mum was also really grateful that he has been given the chance and all three of us could not believe what he managed to achieve in such a short time.

I am going to put all of the videos onto DVD for his birthday.

I'm sure Paul will tell loads of people and we will come down soon, he spoke very highly of the way you explained everything to him and made him feel so comfortable - he often becomes nervous and I know this will have done wonders for his confidence so thanks again for being so nice!

Hope to visit again soon,
Kind regards,
Lucy

I visited you on Monday with Wendy and Lucy. I had a brilliant time and I can't thank you enough. The experience of driving was far much more than I could ever imagine. You were really helpful and just thank you very much. I would highly recommend your service to any blind, visually impaired person or just anyone in general. The experience was the conversation going back home in the car on the Monday and we are still talking about it now.

Thank you so so much again for the experience that my mum, Lucy and me will not forget for a long long time.

Paul James

Please visit Paul's website www.livingwithlowes.com

customer testimonial

It was a fantastic experience. Great thanks to our instructor whose help was essential regarding our condition.
Tim Poole

What a fantastic experience. Fun and laughter too. It made my day!
John Kempster

Great time! Really enjoyed a proper off road experience! Not just going round a track! Ditches, hills, water etc. Some close encounters! A great day thank you.
Dennis Manning

customer testimonial

I bought this as a present for my dad. After having a stroke he was left partially sighted and could no longer drive. After finding Explore 4x4 on line, I thought it would be perfect to give him the chance to get behind the driving seat again !! He loved it ! Instructor was great. Thank you so much. I'm 100% sure you'll be seeing us again.

Jamie & Barry Newman

For those who want more self driving time (i.e. ex drivers) please contact us for further details

News | Our work with visually impaired drivers

Driving the dream for Norfolk blind people

Explore 4x4 have been featured in a NNAB Press Release.

"A Norwich woman who has been blind since birth fulfilled her dream by driving an off road 4x4 vehicle around a forest course."

Click here to download the complete press release

Visionary Article

Try Off–Road Driving with Explore 4x4

Explore 4x4 have been featured in Visionary Views, the Monthly Newsletter for Visionary, a charity linking local sight loss charities.

off road driving for visually impaired people….a whole new way to test your senses, and raise funds.

Click here to download the complete article

Visionary Article

In other news...

To read more of our news articles please visit our main news section >>.

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