Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital – Driver Evaluation Chat

Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital

Susan DeLeo and Laurie Heintzelman sit down on this weeks Health Chat

The Driver’s Evaluation Program at Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital is the only such program available in a 5-county radius—Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Portage and Ashtabula Counties. The program is led by an Occupational Therapist with special training in driver rehabilitation. This program was designed to evaluate individuals who are physically challenged, or recovering from illness or injury, to ensure they have the skills needed to safely operate a vehicle. The program also serves the aging population to make sure that individuals are driving safely.

The driver’s evaluation is a two-part evaluation. The first part of the evaluation is done in an office or clinical setting and examines physical, visual and mental abilities that are required for driving. These abilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Strength and movement
  • Memory and concentration
  • Brake reaction time
  • Knowledge of road signs and rules

The second part of the evaluation is an on-road skills test that takes place in a vehicle equipped with safety equipment and helps identify driver strengths and weaknesses. If necessary adaptive equipment such as hand controls or left foot accelerators can be used during the evaluation.

Based on the findings during the evaluation, the therapist can then make recommendations about driving strategize, specialized equipment and training to improve your driving techniques. If the driving evaluation indicates the need to stop driving for the safety of you and others on the road, the therapist can help you understand why this is the appropriate option and identify other means of transportation.

To participate in the Drivers Evaluation Program, we need the results of a comprehensive eye exam from your physician, a referral from your physician, BVR counselor or worker’s compensation manager and a current driving permit or driver’s license.

For more information or to schedule an evaluation, call 330-841-3771.

Learn more about Hillside Rehabilitation Hospital on their website.

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