Conemaugh Rehabilitation Driving Competency Services
Driving is an essential skill bringing independence and keeping individuals connected to the world around them. It is also a skill often taken for granted. However, the ability to drive safely can be affected by many factors including medical conditions such as stroke, brain injury, disability, or age. As individuals age, physical capabilities change. There is concern for the driver, passengers, and fellow drivers. It is important to identify safe drivers and ensure that competent drivers continue to maintain their driving privileges.
Decisions about whether an individual is competent to drive, both physically and cognitively, needs to be based on facts and not opinions. Conemaugh Rehabilitation offers a comprehensive driving evaluation and rehabilitation program. The program consists of specialized testing which objectively evaluates mature and any at-risk drivers, determining a patient's fitness to continue driving.
All testing is completed in a clinical setting and only suggests what a patient’s probable scores would be if they were to complete an actual on the road assessment. Evaluators may recommend to the patient's physician that a driving rehabilitation specialist offer assistance for further assessments if indicated. The assessment includes:
- Reaction time, needed for stopping fast enough to avoid a crash
- Basic visual acuity, or sharpness of vision
- Decision making, judgment, and planning (e.g., needed for making left turns)
Once these tests are completed, the patient's therapist will work with the physician to develop an appropriate treatment plan to help those having the potential to return to driving safely. For those who must limit or stop driving, a therapist can help to identify appropriate transportation alternatives.
Warning Signs of Impaired Driving
- Not being aware of driving errors such as failure to notice traffic signs
- Experiencing confusion while driving such as getting lost in once familiar areas
- Inability to keep up with the speed of traffic
- Having accidents or too many close calls
- Noticing more scrapes or dents in the car
- Slower to make decisions or delayed response
- Misjudging distance when stopping or turning
- Not being aware of other vehicles
Source: Driving Evaluations by an Occupational Therapist. 2015. American Occupational Therapy Association.
Retrieved from: http://www.aota.org/practice/productive-aging/driving/clients/evaluate/eval-by-ot.aspx
Therapy is typically covered by most health insurance plans, including Medicare and Medicaid. Most managed care health plans require pre-authorization prior to treatment. A prescription from a Primary Care Physician is needed for evaluation.
Conemaugh East Hills
1450 Scalp Avenue
Johnstown, PA 15904