Is Occupational Therapy Assessment Of Driving, An Effective Test

What is an occupational therapy driving assessment? This therapy basically helps in determining if any disabilities or medical conditions affect the ability to drive. For any individual to drive a vehicle of any kind it is very important for said individual to be fit to drive and operate and control the vehicle.

As a part of the procedure in procuring a drivers license at times and in some countries it is mandatory to provide a certificate that claims you to be medically fit. You need a certificate especially if you have suffered an illness that affects motor skills like paralysis, a stroke. Even debilitating diseases like diabetes come in this category. Moreover neurological illnesses like epilepsy, seizures also need a certificate from a medical practitioner that gives a clean chit to the patient. A test of driving by a specialist in occupational therapy is recommended by the transport department before a license can be issued to such a patient.

Driving assessments will generally be done by occupational registered therapists.

The assessment for testing driving done by an occupational therapist is generally done in two settings:

* One setting is in the office of the therapist, this off the road assessment.

* The other setting is actually driving on the road; this is referred to as on the road assessment.

In the assessment which is off the road, the basic thing checked by the therapist is

* Basic sight and vision.

* Physical motor functions of coordination, movement, strength, sensations.

* Judgment of the person is tested.

* A person’s memory is tested.

* The occupational therapist assessing the driver also checks the sense of direction and orientation of the patient.

* Mental alertness in making quick decisions is also tested.

* The therapist also tests a person’s cognitive skills of understanding maps, reading them, following the directions and comprehending the instructions given in road signs.

* It is also important to test whether the person is capable of following road rules.

* These tests are generally conducted using a computer based assessment test which is designed by the therapist.

The skill of driving can also be tested by an occupational therapist by actually taking the patient on the road. Physically driving a car is very different from answering questions about driving in a closed room. In the outside world a number of factors need to be taken in account in an occupational therapy driving test.

* The patient needs to show his skills in driving in closed crowded roads that have a lot of traffic as well as driving on open roads with little or no traffic.

* Maneuvering skills of a person are also tested.

* The therapist tests the patient’s driving skills in traffic conditions especially while crossing intersections.

* Stilt, reverse, and also parking in narrow spots are also tested.

After finishing both the tests the occupational therapist assessing the driving outlines the observations and gives detailed report the authorities who asked for the patient to be tested.


Hence the question what is an occupational therapy driving assessment is really important to keep in consideration when issuing a license to a patient whose driving skills are in question.