We provide a specialty driver assessment service following medical illness, injury or disability which may impact on your ability to drive. Driving Assessments are conducted by an Occupational Therapist who has completed a nationally recognised post-graduate driver training certification & are registered with Occupational Therapy Australia. Our goal is to enable you or your family member to begin or return to driving safely and legally.
Experience. That’s our difference.
Why do I need an OT driving assessment?
An OT Driving Assessment may be required to:
- Determine how your medical condition might impact on your ability to drive
- Assess your ability to drive (determine physical & cognitive capacity)
- Recommend appropriate vehicle modifications & provide training in their use
- Assess work related driving capacity (including commercial vehicle licenses);
- Assess your suitability to begin or continue driving a heavy vehicle, motor bike or other class of vehicle licence
- In the event of an acquired or congenital disability help you begin driving
- Complete an ergonomic assessment to determine the best driving posture and facilitate improved driving
- Help identify relevant alternative transport options to ensure you can continue to access the community and
maintain your independence
OT driver assessment. What is the process?
Part 1 - Clinical pre-drive (off-road) Assessment
The pre-drive assessment comprises a series of clinical assessments and is conducted by a Certified Driver Occupational Therapist. This is a comprehensive assessment process which reviews the relevant skills required for driving, targeting any limitations that may impact on the driving task. This is completed in our clinic and normally takes between 60 and 90 minutes to complete. It can also be completed at your home if you prefer.
The pre-drive assessment is comprised of the following:
- Interview about your medical & driving history
- Physical assessment to determine any physical limitations including: range of motion, strength, tone, sensation, balance and coordination in the trunk, neck, upper & lower limbs. Any pain you experience is also recorded.
- Cognitive & Perceptual tests to determine the presence of any difficulties with concentration, attention, memory, planning, insight and problem solving skills.
- Knowledge of current road rules to ensure you are aware of road rules and can apply these appropriately in simulated situations.
- Brake reaction test to determine upper and lower limb response times within the driving task.
- A vision assessment to determine visual acuity, peripheral vision and eye movement patterns is also required and may be requested to be completed prior to attending the Occupational Therapy Driving Assessment.
The information from the clinical assessments is used to determine whether equipment, car modifications, driving aids or specialist driving techniques need to be trialled during the ‘On-Road’ practical component of the driving assessment.
Part 2 - Practical (on-road) Evaluation
The on-road assessment is completed in conjunction with a Certified Driver Occupational Therapist & Certified Driving Instructor. Use of a dual controlled vehicle is necessary for safety and a standard automatic or standard manual vehicle can be arranged for the assessment. If required, a vehicle with appropriate vehicle modifications or driving aids can be arranged for trial depending on your needs.
We are aware that completing a driving assessment is a stressful experience. We will allow time for you to become familiar with the vehicle both when stationary and when initially driving through quiet driving environments. The assessment commences in quieter streets and may progress to more complex situations depending on your driving requirements.
The Occupational Therapist assesses the impact of your medical condition(s) on your ability to drive safely and legally. To ensure the assessment is objective, assessments are completed over a standard route. The on-road assessment may include controlled and uncontrolled intersections, roundabouts, giveway and stop signs, pedestrian crossings, multi-lane highways with lane changes, shopping areas, school zones and some driving manoeuvres (such as parking or turning the vehicle around etc.). When appropriate, feedback is provided during the assessment in order to give the driver the opportunity to improve his/her driving performance.
The outcome of the assessment will be discussed with you following the on-road driving assessment. You are provided with a Driving Assessment Outcome Summary on completion of the assessment, and a report written by the Occupational Therapist is sent to the Licensing Authority, treating medical practitioner and other recipients as agreed with you at the commencement of the assessment.
Possible Outcomes of the Assessment
- Maintain your current licence status
- Recommend a short course of driving lessons or further driver rehabilitation
- Recommend appropriate vehicle modifications or driving aids and a short course of driving lessons in the safe and legal use of the vehicle modifications or driving aids
- Issue a temporary Class C licence in order to participate in Driver Rehabilitation
- Downgrade your licence from a heavy vehicle or motor bike licence to a C Class licence, prior to further assessment in these vehicles
- Suspension of your licence to enable further medical recovery
- Recommend driver cessation and consider alternatives to driving. This is a decision which involves the Occupational Therapist, the Doctor, and the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure (DPTI). The Occupational Therapy Driving Assessment is designed to obtain information about the person’s driving abilities and enable the person to return to driving safely & legally.
After the assessment
Following the assessment, the Occupational Therapist will complete an Outcome Summary Form documenting the outcome of your driving assessment with recommendations regarding your licensing status. You will receive a copy of this form immediately following your assessment.
Your Occupational Therapist will then write a comprehensive report outlining the results from the clinical assessments and observations from the on road assessment, providing recommendations to yourself, your referrer, your medical practitioner, and DPTI. Please allow 10-15 working days for your report to be completed.
DPTI will then review the recommendations and determine if any further information is required prior to processing your application. DPTI will advise you of the outcome of your application or if any further information is requested. At times, DPTI will require further medical clearance from your referring doctor and your doctor may make an appointment with you to discuss the outcome of the assessment.
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Functional Capacity Assessments
We can assess your ability to function from day to day & prepare a plan to maximise your independence.
A full range of assessment & therapy services are available in-clinic. Hoist transfers available.
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Or call (08) 8331 0566