Medical Driving Evaluation and Training Program
The Medical Driving Evaluation and Training Program at Blue Ridge Therapy evaluates a person’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. We provide driver training and/or adaptive equipment recommendations.
For more information listen to Jan Stephanides's blog with GeriAcademy.
What is involved in evaluation?
Your driving evaluation is performed by an occupational therapist (OT) who is a certified driving instructor (CDI) as well as a Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS).
There are two parts to an evaluation: an in-clinic and behind-the-wheel evaluation. They are usually scheduled together on the same day.
- In-clinic evaluation:
- Reviewing of medical history, driving license status, and driving history.
- Assessing physical, visual and decision-making skills.
- Behind-the-wheel evaluation:
- Assessing vehicle seating, entry and exit skills.
- Assessing driving maneuvers in a motor vehicle on a variety of different public roadways.
- Helping determine the best way to drive and carry a mobility device such as a wheelchair, walker, or scooter, if needed.
- Benefits of Assessment
- The aging process impacts driving. Learn how these changes affect driving and discover new strategies to keep driving skills sharp.
- Medical conditions can affect driving. Learn how adaptive equipment may assist driving.
*Results are discussed immediately following the evaluation. A comprehensive written report is shared with the client, referring physician, and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). The CDRS provides a professional recommendation. The final decision about driving is up to the client, the referring physician, and the DMV.
Consider a comprehensive driving evaluation if:
- You are concerned that your driving skills may have diminished over time.
- You need adaptive driving equipment (e.g., left foot accelerator, hand controls).
- You have experienced a recent increase in near misses (fender benders).
- Friends and family have suggested that you may not be fit to drive.
- You have been diagnosed with a medical condition that can impact your driving skills such as:
- Dementia/Alzheimer’s Disease
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Diabetic complications
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Cerebral Palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Brain injury
- Learning disability
- Bi-optic driving
- A Potential to Drive Evaluation (determine needed skills prior to starting driver’s ed.)
- Special needs client evaluation and/or training
- Evaluation and training with adaptive equipment
- Evaluating aging drivers
- Vehicle consultation (best options for mobility device, stowage, securement, and carrier options)
- Vehicle fittings (ensure optimal fit and use of prescribed driving equipment)
Meet Our Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS)
Jan Stephanides MS, OTR/L, CDRS, CDI
Jan has been working in various fields of occupational therapy since earning her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy more than 30 years ago. She specializes in driving rehabilitation and is a certified driving instructor earning the national certification of Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS). She works with all age groups (pre-driving through aged drivers) and abilities. She is eager to explore driving options for her clients.