A change of medical condition can affect your ability to drive safely. This may follow a head injury, stroke, spinal injury, amputation or may be due to a neurological condition or the ageing process. If your doctor has any concerns about your skills for driving they may refer you to an occupational therapist for a driver assessment.
The purpose of the assessment is to make recommendations about if, or when, you can resume driving, or whether any conditions should be placed on your driving. Clients must demonstrate that they meet the NZTA driver licensing standards.
Who pays for the driver assessment?
Funding arrangements for driver assessments vary. ACC may fund assessments for ACC covered clients. In some cases Ministry of Health disability funding may be available to pay for the driver assessment. In other cases, you will be required to pay the cost of a driver assessment.
What does the driver assessment involve?
Assessments are conducted by occupational Therapists that have completed post-grad training in driver assessments.
These usually begin with an off-road assessment in the therapist’s office. After that, the occupational therapist will take you for an on-road driver assessment.
The on-road assessment may take up to one hour and a driving instructor will be present with the occupational therapist for this part of the assessment.
The whole process can take 2-3 hours. You are able to bring a support person with you however, they cannot attend the on-road component for safety reasons.
When you come for your assessment you must bring your driver licence and any relevant letter from your doctor or the licensing authority. If you normally wear glasses to drive and/or read you will need them for this assessment and your medication lists.
Our transport assessors can also assist with providing advice on or coordinating vehicle modifications to optimise independence and achieve rehabilitation goals.