mEDICAL FITNESS TO DRIVE
A medical condition, illness or injury can affect an individual's ability to drive.
We see a variety of clients who have medical conditions which can impact on driving. These include:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscular Dystrophy
- Poor Memory and Dementia
- Parkinson's Disease
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Injuries
Your Doctor may request an assessment to ensure your driving safety. A Driving Assessment may be requested where a medical certificate is required for Driver's Licence renewal.
The purpose of the assessment is to help with the decision on your medical fitness to drive and make a recommendation on whether any conditions should be placed on your licence.
An Occupational Therapy Driving Assessment is not a Driver Licence test but the results could impact on your licence.
One of three potential outcomes are most likely:
- A resumption of driving or continued driving
- A limited licence
- Retirement from driving
We've found that a lot of people can be nervous regarding this assessment. This page was compiled in order to give you a basic overview of the test's components and what you can expect.
The first part is a 45 minute interview where we will get to know a bit more about you and your driving history. Within this interview we will ask you the following questions:
- Your current limitations, a history of your medical conditions.
- Background history of your driving.
- License details.
- The medication you may be on.
- If you have any physical problems that may effect driving such as; limited muscle strength, co-ordination issues or problems with your vision.
- How much do you remember of the road rules?
After this interview has been conducted we move onto a quick physical, looking at your limb movement, pain, visual capacity, etc.
Once this is over it's time to conduct the CANDAT test. It is important to note at this stage that no computer skills are necessary! Even if you have never used a computer in your life you can still sit and pass this test. This part lasts for around 45 minutes to 1 hour and contains tests for the following areas:
- Ballistic movement - this tests your reaction time, your strength and your mobility.
- Sine tracking - tests visual skills and hand eye coordination.
- Arrows perception test - ability to scan your environment quickly and accurately.
- Divided attention test - ability to multitask, not focus on one thing at the exclusion of another.
- Complex attention - tests ability to concentrate for a long period. 2 1/2 minutes long.
On Road Assessment
The on-road assessment is undertaken in your own car or one of the assessment cars if required.
The drive is normally in your own area and covers places where you would normally drive. Part of the assessment drive may be in less familiar streets and may involve different situations such as the local shopping area, suburban back streets and the motorway or highway if appropriate. Depending on where you live, it may be necessary to undertake the assessment in an alternative area.
On the drive you will be accompanied by one of our occupational therapists and a qualified driving instructor.
The driving instructor will sit beside you and give you directions about where to drive and when to turn.
The purpose of the assessment is to advise you about your driving and make recommendations about returning to driving or continuing to drive, and any possible limitations there may be to your driving.
The assessor has no power to take your licence off you as this can only be done on the recommendation of a medical practitioner and by the Land Transport Safety Authority.