Driving Assessments

Following illness or injury, a person’s ability to learn to drive or resume driving may be affected by physical, cognitive, perceptual and/or behavioural changes, compromising the safety of both the driver and other road users.

Before returning to driving you should seek medical advice to be assessed. When your doctor or medical team treating you feel that you may be able to resume driving, an occupational therapist that specialises in driving will be able to assess you to assist doctors to determine your ability to continue driving safely.

Driving modifications can also be trialled, though this service may have to occur in Townsville as there is only one driving school with these modifications available for testing and practice.


Step 1 - Off Road Driving Assessment / Pre-Driving Screen

An off road assessment is used to determine if your illness or injury has caused any problems that may affect your ability to drive safely.

The assessment tests:

  • Physical abilities
  • Vision
  • Reaction times
  • Judgement and planning
  • Knowledge of road rules and signs
  • Strategic thinking skills e.g. Decision making

The Off-road assessment results will assist your occupational therapist in determining:

  1. Your readiness for an On-road assessment; and
  2. If vehicle modifications are required

Step 2 - On Road Assessment

The On road assessment is usually carried out on the same day as the Off road assessment on the guidelines that a dual controlled car and driving instructor are available.

The vehicle may be automatic or manual with additional modifications if required.

The On road assessment takes approximately 50 minutes during which the occupational therapist will observe from the rear seat to assess the potential effects your illness or injury may have on your driving skills. After the drive, the therapist and driving instructor meet briefly and then sit down with you and give you feedback regarding the drive.


What Happens after the Assessment

Following the assessment, the occupational therapist and driving instructor may advise you of the following options:

  1. Unsafe to drive at the present time
  2. Vehicle modifications and lessons to learn to use controls are required.
  3. Required driving lessons to develop safe driving skills
  4. You are safe to drive

Your occupational therapist makes the recommendations. However, it is your referring doctor who must make the final decision on resuming driving.


Costs if Insured

If you are covered by some form of compensation (eg. WorkCover, Private Disability Insurance or Compulsory Third Party Insurance), the cost of the assessment may be met by them.

For all other costs involved with a driving assessment contact our office to receive a quote.

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