Driver Rehabilitation Program
The privilege of driving offers the key to independence. For some, the ability to drive or continue driving becomes a concern due to illness, injury or age-related changes. Rehabilitation Hospital's Driver Rehabilitation Program is designed to help drivers make good choices and resume safe community mobility. The program serves:
- Current drivers with a new diagnosis or a change in their ability to drive
- Individuals with physical limitations who are interested in driving
- Elderly drivers and their families seeking professional recommendations
- Multiple sclerosis
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spina bifida
Rehab Hospital's Driver Rehabilitation Program is staffed by licensed occupational therapists who
have specialized training in driver rehabilitation.
Program participants work with the same clinician for the entire program, from evaluation through actual driving sessions.
To participate in the program, drivers must have:
- A physician referral
- A valid driver's license or learner's permit
- Transportation to and from the evaluation
The driver evaluation is a two-step process that assesses all aspects of the participants' driving skills to determine if it is safe for them to return to the road. The predriving clinical evaluation looks at
the necessary components of driving, including vision*, physical abilities, memory and perceptual skills. The on-road evaluation is an actual driving test in which drivers' abilities are evaluated using a specially equipped car. Specific routes are chosen based on individual need.
*Minimum state standards for vision must be met before completing the on-road evaluation.
Results are reviewed with each driver immediately following the evaluation, and recommendations and referrals are provided, including the need for adaptive equipment for the vehicle. Alternative community mobility options are also addressed as needed. A results summary is sent to the referring physician within 24 hours, and a full report is sent within two business days.
Results may indicate that additional training is required to address specific deficits. On-road training is offered for those who demonstrate deficits in basic driving skills or those who need to learn how to use adaptive equipment.
Medicare, Medicaid and most private insurers do not typically cover driver rehabilitation. Workman's compensation and vocational rehab may cover the cost, but for most participants, services require self-payment.
Who may benefit from a driver evaluation?
If you answer "yes" to any of the following questions, a driver evaluation may be warranted.
- Does the driver confuse the gas and brake pedals or have difficulty working them?
- Does the driver seem to ignore or miss stop signs and other traffic signals?
- Does the driver weave between or straddle lanes?
- Do other drivers honk or pass frequently, even when the traffic stream is moving slowly?
- Does the driver get lost or disoriented easily, even in familiar places?
Scheduling an Appointment
- Call (260) 435-6121 (260) 435-6121
- Morning and afternoon times available on most weekdays
- Plan two to three hours for evaluations
- Training sessions are typically one hour