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Sheltering Arms Blog

Are You Ready to Drive Again?

Posted on: March 7, 2019 by Robert Moss

By: Michelle Crincoli, MS, OTR/L

After a neurological event such as a stroke or brain injury, there can be a lot of questions surrounding whether or not someone is ready to drive again. The Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) requires a medical statement from a physician, physician’s assistant, or nurse practitioner following the onset of a mental or physical condition that may impair someone’s ability to safely operate a motor vehicle, even temporarily.

Some of these conditions include:

  • Level of consciousness
  • Seizures
  • Vision changes
  • Impairment of judgment
  • Loss of motor functions

For many people, driving is an important daily task, and safety is of the upmost importance when considering returning to driving. Everyone who has experienced a neurological injury or illness must be cleared by a doctor before driving again.

If you are wondering whether or not you or a loved one are ready to drive again, the Sheltering Arms Off-Road Driver Readiness Program can help. As part of the driving assessment at Sheltering Arms, here are some of the things you can expect to do:

  • Take a test – Most assessments start with a paper and pencil test. These assessments look at your vision, ability to multi-task, attention and many other skills important for driving.
  • Use our off-road driving simulator – Depending on the location of your assessment and your needs, you may use the driving simulator to analyze your breaking-reaction time, ability to navigate around objects and how well you follow the rules of the road. Watch the video below!

Throughout this program, Sheltering Arms occupational therapists collect specific data and share it with the driver’s physician(s) and the DMV to help determine whether a patient can return to on-road driving. While this program doesn’t clear you to drive, it can help increase confidence and provide your doctor information about your readiness to return to driving.

If you are thinking about driving again, call (804) 764-1000 and ask about the Sheltering Arms Driver Readiness Program or click here to request an appointment online.


Reference: https://www.dmv.virginia.gov/drivers/medical/spec_restrict.asp