Having a driver’s licence is an important part of most people’s lives. Something they look forward to when they turn the legal age to take their test and get a licence. For some though, having had a serious injury which has left them with a disability, getting back behind the wheel is something that takes a long time after much rehabilitation and re-training. Learning to use certain parts of their body in daily life again can take years and getting a licence to drive can seem beyond them. To get another licence, they may have to take an OT driving assessment.
In order to regulate who drives on the roads in Australia, each state government asks drivers to report any medical conditions, requesting a doctor’s certificate. If recommended, a person with a disability will be asked to complete an OT driving assessment to ascertain whether the disability impacts on their ability to drive safely.
How does it work?
Those conducting the OT driving assessment will have post graduate training and will ensure that the experience is as stress free as possible, knowing how much driving means to some people. The assessor is there to try ensure that the person doing the test can be expected to drive completely safely on the road. Before undertaking the test, the results of an eyesight test will need to be presented as well as the original licence of the participant. An interview will also take place before the test to talk about the driver’s medical history. The OT driving assessment usually lasts around 2 hours. It takes place in a car that can be controlled by the qualified assessor, and one that can be fitted with any extras that the test participant may need.
There are many possible outcomes of an OT driving assessment. The driver may be fit to drive without any additional help or restrictions, while others may only be allowed to drive during daylight hours and only within a certain distance from their house. Some may be required to have extra lessons to learn how to use aspects of their modified cars, or to re-learn the proper techniques to drive. While some may be completely disqualified as they are unfit to drive or may need to wait a little longer to re-take the test.
The fees involved in an OT driving assessment can vary from person to person. The costs involved will not be covered by the governing body carrying out the test. The costs for modifying the car will also be incurred by the person taking the test, as well as any further medical tests. Although these may be reimbursed through private health insurance.
If you are faced with an OT driving assessment, it’s important to take every necessary step to ensure your safety before your test. If you are worried by anything be sure to let your assessor know and they will allay any fears you have. Before the test, ensure that you have all the correct documentation you need as well as that all necessary changes have been made to the car that you’ll be using.
There should be nothing to worry you during your OT driving assessment. Your assessor will be a trained professional who has watched over the same test dozens of times. They are there to ensure safety for all on the road, most importantly yours. While doing the test, relax and everything you have learned and re-learned should come naturally to you. Not passing doesn’t have to be end of your time behind the wheel as you can always get a second or third chance if needed.