Occupational Therapy Driving Assessments
Why do I need an Occupational Therapy Driving Assessment?
Driving is an important part of a person’s lifestyle, often contributing greatly to their independence, and is commonly taken for granted.
Driving a motor vehicle is a complex task and requires many different skills such as:
• Coordinating the use of hands / arms / feet
• Planning and making quick decisions
• Having adequate vision to observe and take in the road and other vehicles
• Making judgements about the position of vehicles and manoeuvring
• Having quick reactions
• Being up to date with knowledge of current traffic laws and rules
Some of these skills may be affected following injury or illness raising concerns regarding a person’s ability to return to safe driving. In many cases Integrity Therapy Services Driving Assessment and Rehabilitation Programs are able to assist people with mild, moderate and significant disabilities regain their independence and return to driving.
How Can An Occupational Therapy Driving Assessment Help You?
A Driving Assessment can help to identify any deficits or problems with your driving skills following illness or injury. Specialised equipment or vehicle modifications can be recommended and trialled. A driving assessment can also help to identify specific strategies that may assist with improving your safety (and that of other road users) and confidence with driving. An Occupational Therapy Driving Assessment may also assist you to complete an RMS Disability Driving Test, if this is required.
What is an Occupational Therapy Driving Assessment?
A Driving Assessment usually consists of an off road component followed by a practical on road component. These can be done on the same day, or split up depending on need. The off road component of the assessment entails an interview with the Occupational Therapist regarding medical and driving history followed by a physical, visual and cognitive screen. It can take up to 2 hours. The on road component is conducted in a Driver Instructor’s vehicle equipped with a dual brake control and other modifications if required / available. This takes approximately 1.5 hours.
The Driver Instructor sits in the front passenger seat and provides directions of travel and the Occupational Therapist is seated in the rear passenger seat. Feedback is generally provided half way through to allow you to improve on particular areas or skills for optimal performance.
Following the assessment the outcome and recommendations are discussed with you openly. Family and carers are encouraged to be present. The Occupational Therapist completes a written report which is sent to the RMS and your referrer and a letter outlining the outcome is sent to you.
The Driving Assessment outcome can include recommendations to;
• Return to driving with no further action
• Return to driving with specific restrictions (i.e. driving within 50km radius from home)
• Complete a rehabilitation driving program and be re-assessed at its completion, or
• Cancellation of licence
This information will be discussed with you clearly at the completion of the assessment. You may be required to undertake an RMS Disability Driving Test, in certain circumstances. This will be explained to you after the assessment has taken place.
Integrity Therapy Services Occupational Therapy Driver Assessment and Training
Integrity Therapy Services has a specially trained Occupational Therapist to assess, advise, train and support you through all necessary steps towards independent driving.
Our Occupational Therapists has completed post graduate studies in ‘Driver Assessment and Training’ and are recognised by, and registered with the RMS.
Integrity Therapy Services offers the following services:
• Driving Assessments (including automatic and manual vehicles)
• Driver retraining and lessons
• Vehicle modification prescription
• Reports and liaison with Insurance companies for compensable Clients
Integrity Therapy Services takes a positive approach to return to driving and clients may be recommended to undertake a rehabilitation program to improve or practice particular driving skills. A reassessment is then offered, to provide the most optimal scenario for returning to driving.
Referrals for an Occupational Therapy Driving Assessment can be made by anyone including:
• Family members
• Medical Practitioner
• Specialist Doctor
• Other health professionals.
A fee is charged for the assessment and some clients may be eligible for funding assistance. Clients will require some medical information from their GP prior to commencing the assessment. This may include;
• Visual reports (e.g. Ophthalmologist)
• Medical Specialist reports (e.g. Neuropsychological Assessment reports etc)
• RMS Medical Report (always required)
You will be informed of the information required by the Occupational Therapist at the time of the referral.
Please contact Integrity Therapy Services for any further information. We are happy to assist where we can.