Driving assessments are aimed at people who have been diagnosed with a medical condition or serious injury that may in some way affect their driving ability. The majority of people are recommended to participate in one by a health professional who is aware of their condition or state.
Given the danger that is associated with it is highly recommended that anyone who questions their ability to drive at any stage seek a referral from a medical practitioner or make an appointment themselves.
It is also encouraged that medical professionals who are cautious of their patients ability to drive should refer them to a driving evaluation to reduce the risk of an accident. Whilst the majority of injuries are assessable in general terms, it is highly recommended that a patient take a driving assessment after a brain injury.
What is a Driving Assessment?
A driving assessment is designed to evaluate a person’s health and their consequential ability to drive. It consists of two parts, being one off-road and one on-road. A qualified driver trained occupational therapist will come to your home with the duration of the assessment taking between 2 and 3 hours depending on the condition of the patient.
The off-road element of the assessment is aimed at identifying or confirming any medical conditions that a person may have and whether or not these will impact their ability to drive safely. This part of the evaluation is completed before the on-road assessment. For this component of the assessment, it is acceptable that family members are present.
The on-road component of the assessment is completed within the client’s local suburbs. The person drives their car around their local area to demonstrate that they are able to drive safely.
As well as their being a qualified driver trained occupational therapist in the car there is also a qualified driving instructor to ensure their driving is of a specific standard. During this part of the assessment, a dual controlled car is used to ensure the safety of all those in the car as well as pedestrians and other drivers.
Following the off-road and on-road assessments, the person being evaluated and their family or carer will engage in conversation with the driver trained occupational therapist in regards to the results of the driving assessment. Recommendations for the person will be discussed during this time as well.
Following all of this, a report will be sent through to the participating client as well as to the Roads and Maritime Services or treating doctor if required.
A driving evaluation can be conducted due to a physical or mental injury. The majority of patients are put through a driving assessment after a brain injury, however there are many who also experience physical or other mental issues.
A driving assessment is able to help people with any of the following conditions;
· Brain Injury
· Cerebral Palsy
· Mental Health issues
· Physical injury
|• Memory problems
• Spinal injury
• Parkinson’s Disease
• Multiple Sclerosis
• Congenital conditions
The assessment is not limited to people with these conditions, it is simply that these are the most prominent.
Driving is something that should be taken seriously and it is important that everyone is aware of the dangers behind driving with an injury especially to the head or nervous system. All individuals should be taking a driving assessment after a brain injury, spinal injury or stroke to ensure that they are fit to drive.
And any family member or doctor is, again, encouraged to refer their relative or patient to a driving evaluation service should they have any doubts.