What is involved in an OT Driving Assessment?

The driving assessment includes both off and on road components.  The off road component is conducted by a specialised driver-trained occupational therapist, and the on road component by the occupational therapist and driving instructor.

Your Driving Assessment

Part 1. Off Road Assessment

The off-road assessment is conducted by a driver trained occupational therapist and consists of the following components:

  1. Interview concerning your medical and driving history
  1. Physical screen to determine the presence and extent of any physical limitations
  1. Cognitive screen to determine the presence of any difficulties with concentration, attention, memory, problem solving and planning skills
  1. Knowledge of current right of way road rules to ensure you can apply them to appropriately in simulated situations
  1. Vision screen to assess visual acuity, peripheral vision and eye movements.  When you have a specific visual problem, a vision assessment is completed by an orthoptist or other vision specialist

This information is used to determine whether equipment, car modifications or specialist driving techniques need to be trialled during the on-road component of the assessment.

Part 2. On Road Assessment

The on road assessment is completed immediately following the off-road testing, in the driving instructor’s assessment vehicle with dual controls. Automatic and manual vehicles are available. Should you wish to have a limited license you may discuss this with the occupational therapist.

The assessment commences in quiet streets and may progress to more complex situations.

The assessment is completed by the following people:

  1. Driving Instructor who sits in the passenger seat with access to dual controls.  The driving instructor provides feedback about your driving performance measured against transport authority standards.
  2. The Occupational Therapist who sits in the back seat of the vehicle.  Their role is to assess the impact of your condition on your ability to drive safely and legally to transport authority standards.  All aspects of driving are assessed including your observation, speed control, vehicle positioning, planning and judgement, reaction time and physical control.

Feedback is provided during the assessment in order to give you the opportunity to improve your driving performance if there areas in which this is necessary.

Recommendations

At conclusion of the assessment, the outcome of the assessment will be discussed with you. It is the duty of the occupational therapist to provide a report to your GP (in QLD) or the licensing authority/RMS (in NSW) that outlines how you performed during all components of the assessment.

The possible outcomes of the assessment may be:

  • Maintain your current licence status and resume or continue driving
  • Add or remove conditions to/from your license
  • You may need to participate in a series of specialised driving lessons to improve your driving behaviours where possible
  • Suspension of your licence to enable further recovery if medically possible
  • Cancellation of your driver’s licence as a result of your medical condition, if your medical condition negatively impacts your safety on road and cannot be remediated.

QLD LICENSE HOLDERS: Although the occupational therapist is responsible for providing recommendations to your referring doctor, the final decision regarding your ability to meet medical fitness requirements is a comprehensive decision made by your doctor and based on ALL medical and functional information that doctor has in regards to your individual situation.

NSW LICENSE HOLDERS: The occupational therapist makes recommendations to the NSW Roads and Maritime Services Medical Licensing Unit following your assessment. The RMS will consider all medical information provided and make the final decision about your license.