Driving is Important to all of us / Available Resources
Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital's Driving Evaluation Program has been developed to provide assessment of individuals with a variety of disabilities in order to facilitate independent mobility within the community. The Driving Evaluation Program includes many components to assess the patient's driving skills and works in conjunction with the treating physician. There are two parts to the evaluation; if the patient successfully completes the clinical assessment, then the on-the-road portion is scheduled.
The Evaluation: Clinical and Road Assessment
Part One: Clinical Assessment: The Occupational Therapist Assesses:
- Visual Acuity including: depth perception, peripheral vision
- Cognitive/Perceptual areas: spatial relations, right/left discrimination, color and sign recognition, scanning, problem solving, sequencing, attention, following directions
- Physical Mobility: joint range of motion, muscle strength, tone, coordination, balance, sensation, endurance, level of functional ability
- Indoor Driving Simulation: Reaction time, simulation of traffic situations
Part Two: Road Assessment
- The Occupational Therapist and a driving instructor drive with the patient in a driving school vehicle equipped with an instructor's brake and adaptive equipment
- The patient drives in parking lots, residential, downtown and highway areas as appropriate
- A formal feedback session takes place after the assessment. Written recommendations are provided
- A copy of the evaluation is sent to the referring physician
Admission Criteria for the Driving Evaluation
- The patient must meet Massachusetts RMV standards for visual acuity and peripheral vision
- The patient must be free of seizure activity for six months
- A current driver's license or instructional permit must be in patient's possession while behind the wheel
- A physician's physician order form is required
Driving Evaluation Referral Process
- A physicians order for an O.T. Driving Evaluation is required.
The order may be faxed or sent through the mail. By law, a therapist cannot perform the assessment without a written MD order. A
physician order form attached
- A referral must be created in the scheduling system.
To begin the referral process basic information such as name, address, DOB, diagnosis, insurance coverage, PCP information, etc. is required. Please call 781-348-4017 for all referrals.
- An appointment time is reserved for the client.
The clinical portion of the assessment takes one hour. Please arrive 20 minutes before your assessment time in order to complete the registration process which must occur prior to the appointment.
- The driving assessment consists of two one-hour sessions.
Part I - The clinical assessment - If successfully completed, then Part II is scheduled
Part II - The road assessment - - Following the road evaluation, a formal feedback meeting takes place in the hospital.
Cost of the program:
Insurance usually does not cover driving evaluations. Our fee structure is as follows:
Part I - Clinical Assessment - $140.50 if paid on the date of service.
Part II - On The Road Assessment - $49.50 if paid on the date of service.
There is an additional fee for the driving school instructor: $150.00
West of Boston
Driving is Important to all of us / Available Resources
Educate yourself on how to maintain your abilities. Why, because unfortunately our driving skills can diminish over time. Statistically, we will outlive our ability to be safe drivers by 7-10 years. Continuing to drive safely may involve the "sharpening" or "assessment" of certain skills. Driving is a complex task. Certain medical/surgical conditions or aging may cause decreased vision or perception, diminished strength/dexterity, stiff joints, slowed reaction time, and/or cognitive changes.
Talking with your doctor is important if you've had a neurological event, change in your health or a medical/surgical issue that may have affected your capacity to drive. Your doctor oversees your entire medical picture and can help you make a decision about continuing to drive. An objective, comprehensive evaluation can help both you and you doctor get a better handle on your capabilities. Your doctor can refer you to a Driving Evaluation Program for an assessment. Even if "areas of concern" are found there may be specific treatments by a physical therapist, occupational therapist, speech therapist or Neuropsychologist that can help "sharpen" those skills.
If you want to "check in" to score your driving skills you can complete a self assessment. Stay as safe as you can as long as you can.
Two helpful resources:
AARP - www.aarp.org Excellent website, connects to a number of resources. Online quiz- "Test Your Driving IQ." Course-"55 Alive - Driver Safety Program" (very good and popular 8 hour course for $10).
Local AAA offices - have a great $5 CD-Rom "Roadside Review "to use at home. Most libraries, Senior Centers and Counsel on Aging Centers may also have them.
Our Driving Evaluation Program at Braintree Rehabilitation Hospital
We can be reached by calling (781) 348-4017
The evaluation provides helpful information for family, client and physician. Lessons and/or therapy as forms of retraining may be recommended. It has 2 parts - a clinical assessment, and an on-the-road evaluation. It is usually a private pay service.
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety - www.seniordrivers.org
On line quiz, great booklets and brochures that can be downloaded or ordered for free. "Drivers 55 Plus" (large green booklet that has a self rating form of questions, facts and suggestions for safe driving). "How to Help an Older Driver" (large while booklet, comprehensive).
Hartford Insurance Company - www.thehartford.com/alzheimers
www.thehartford.com/talkwitholderdrivers Very helpful and thorough booklets.
AOTA- the website for the American Occupational Therapy Association. www.aota.org/olderdriver/ It has a lot of information on how OT s can help people in the community, and are involved in Driver Evaluation and Training. It also has many links to other sites, articles, and other helpful information.
Registry of Motor Vehicles - www.mass.gov/rmv/ (select Mature Drivers). It has many helpful links including several of the above listed resources; information on disabled plates and placards, law enforcement.
Alzheimer's Association- www.alzmass.org They can send someone to the house to talk with the client. This often helps to have an informed outsider.