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Pre-Driver's Screening Program

Driving a vehicle makes it easier to function within the community and in life, but when a driver lacks certain skills, serious safety and liability risks may exist. Gundersen Occupational Therapy's Pre-Driver's Screening Program strives to ensure everyone behind the wheel has the necessary skills to stay safe on the roads.

Benefits of this screening

Driving becomes dangerous when an individual behind the wheel has problems with skills such as:

  • Visual perception
  • Thinking processes
  • Movement
  • Self-control

Impairments in these crucial skills may be a result of:

  • Stroke
  • Brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Arthritis
  • Alzheimer's or other age-related condition

The assessment process

The Pre-Driver's Screen is administered by a Registered Occupational Therapist using specialized and standardized tests. The steps of the process include:

  • Obtain history
  • Administer comprehensive test of visual functioning including acuity, visual fields, depth perception and color vision
  • Administer test of reaction time
  • Test strength, range of motion, sensation and coordination
  • Assess memory, problem solving, road sign knowledge, information processing and judgment
  • Review results with patient and physician
  • Decision made by physician on return of patient to driving based on assessment

Results of the Pre-Driver's Screening

Recommendations are discussed with the client and the client's referring physician. Recommendations may include:

  • An additional behind-the-wheel evaluation
  • State testing by the Department of Motor Vehicles
  • Further visual examination by a vision specialist
  • Adaptive driving behaviors such as daytime driving only, driving in a designated mile radius from home and no freeway driving
  • Operation of motor vehicle not recommended

How to start the process

If you have a concern, discuss the issue with the driver’s physician. The physician must refer the patient to Occupational Therapy before an assessment is conducted.

Love + Medicine

Every day, Gundersen Health System delivers great medicine plus a little something extra—we call it Love + Medicine.

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