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Driving Assessment and Rehabilitation

Driver Assessment & Rehabilitation

To some, driving is an independent method of participating in social events, getting to work or running around doing everyday errands.

We use a combination of high-level cognitive, visual and physical processes to drive. A perfect unison of these faculties is vital for successfully executing the driving task. At times, a disability, injury, or progressive medical condition affects our ability to drive. 

Driving empowers us, and it provides opportunities for independence and freedom to go where we want and when we want. Driving is also a source of income for others. Nevertheless, driving is a privilege, and there are serious consequences when we drive without appropriate assessment and training. 

In Western Australia, the Department of Transport WA has legislation requiring mandatory reporting. All long-term or permanent medical conditions or medications which may affect your ability to drive form part of this legislation.

As a responsible driver, please refer to the Department of Transport WA website for further details on how to report your medical condition or concerns about your driving ability.

The Process

The process of returning to driving with your medical condition may involve a specialist driving assessment with an Occupational Therapist Driver Assessor (OTDA).

The OTDA is a registered Occupational Therapist with additional postgraduate qualifications and expertise in assessing the impact of your medical condition on driving fitness, safety, and independence.

In these assessments, the OTDA will begin with a pre-drive assessment in our office, which includes your cognitive, physical and visual abilities related to the complex task of driving.

If appropriate, the OTDA will conduct an on-road assessment. A qualified Driving Instructor undertakes the on-road assessment in their dual controlled car for safety, and the OTDA sits in the left passenger seat. The driver elects their preferences for either automatic or manual.

The Outcome

Immediately following the pre-drive and or on-road assessment, the OTDA will provide feedback on the recommendations which could be one of the following outcomes:

  • Recommend a person is fit to continue driving according to Austroads and medical standards.
  • Recommend a person is not fit to continue driving according to Austroads and medical standards. The person is required to find alternative transport options. 
  • Undertake a driving rehabilitation program and complete lessons to learn compensatory strategies such as using specialised vehicle modifications or techniques. Conditions ensue on the drivers’ license, and re-assessment would be necessary.
  • Recommend licence restrictions such as the driver must wear corrective lenses at all times while driving.

After the outcomes, the OTDA will prepare a report for the driver, treating medical practitioner and the Department of Transport WA of these recommendations.

The Department of Transport WA gathers all necessary evidence to make the final decision on your license. 

Please contact Functional Revival to book your OT Driving Assessment.