Disabled man is transferring into a car, which is taught in the driver's evaluation and training at Genesis Center for Physical Medicine & Rehab

Driver's Evaluation & Training

Driving has become a symbol of freedom to those over the age of 16, which many consider essential to independence, mobility, and self esteem. It is important to maintain a person’s ability to drive, provided he or she is able to do so safely. Should the ability to drive be in question due to new or long term disability, the Driver’s Evaluation Program at Genesis Medical Center can assess a person’s physical and cognitive abilities as they relate to driving.

The Genesis Medical Center Driver’s Evaluation is scheduled upon receipt of a doctor’s order and a current history and physical from that physician.

The person to be evaluated must have a current license or permit in order to complete the behind the wheel assessment.

The Driver’s Evaluation is conducted on the West Campus and is comprised of two parts: the Clinical Evaluation and the functional, or Behind the Wheel Evaluation.

Evaluation

Evaluation

The Clinical Phase lasts approximately two hours and consists of an evaluation by an occupational therapist. The evaluation assesses a person’s abilities/limitations in the following areas:

  • Visual Acuity
  • Peripheral Vision
  • Visual Processing
  • Perceptual Motor Skills
  • Judgment/Problem Solving
  • Mobility Status
  • Upper and Lower Extremity Strength
  • Range of Motion
  • Proprioception/Sensation
  • Reaction Time
  • Overall Endurance
  • Auditory Comprehension
  • Reading Comprehension
  • Verbal Expression

If a person successfully passes the clinical evaluation, he/she participates in the behind the wheel evaluation, with a Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist. The individual is placed in a variety of driving situations with or without the use of driving aids, depending on
his/her limitations.

Recommendations

Recommendations

The individual’s performance is reviewed and one of the following recommendations is made to the physician:

  • Driving can be resumed without adaptive equipment or restriction.
  • Driving can be resumed with certain restrictions applied.
  • Formal driver’s training is needed with appropriate adaptive equipment prior to resuming independent ­­driving.
  • Driving instruction should be completed before reassessment.
  • A home exercise program may be provided by the occupational therapist to assist with improvement of visual or motor skills.
  • More in- or out-patient therapy is required to improve the person’s functional status prior to being reassessed for either the clinical or behind the wheel portions.

Adaptive Equipment

Adaptive Equipment

Some individuals require driver’s training with adaptive equipment due to physical limitations. This training is conducted through the Occupational Therapy Department for those who require the use of hand controls, left foot accelerator, or left or right control conversions. Adequate time is given for individuals to become proficient with these adaptations prior to completing the Behind the Wheel Evaluation.

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