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Comprehensive Driving Evaluation

Physical, cognitive and psychological limitations as well as aging can have an impact on a person's ability to drive safely.  A Comprehensive Driving Evaluation determines fitness to drive, i.e. having the adequate physical, visual and cognitive function and resources to drive smoothly and cautiously while compensating adequately for functional impairments, in real time traffic (Brouwer & Ponds, 1994).  This evaluation comprises of a battery of tests to screen driving ability prior to conducting an on-road driving evaluation. 

 
 
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Who may benefit from a Comprehensive Driving Evaluation?

If you are unsure about whether your condition or illness affects your driving ability, you may benefit from a driving evaluation.  At risk populations include those with cardiovascular conditions, diabetes mellitus, hearing loss and deafness, musculoskeletal conditions, neurological conditions (such as dementia, seizures/epilepsy, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, stroke and Parkinson's disease) and psychiatric disorders.


Service aimed at:

  • Insurers
  • Employers / Corporate
  • Occupational Health Companies
  • Individuals who self refer

Procedure

The first part of the evaluation is completed in a clinic or office, where a battery of tests are administered, which includes visual (and other sensory functions), cognitive and motor tests.   The structure of this part of the test is determined by the referral, and may include tests specifically focused on older drivers, individuals with Parkinson's disease, epilepsy, and mild traumatic brain injury.  Depending on the outcome of the initial assessment, the individual is further assessed in the driving simulator, or participates in an on-road driving assessment.

The on-road assessment is the criterion standard for assessing fitness to drive.  In this part of the assessment, the individual's ability to respond to varying environments is assessed, as well as in-traffic fitness to drive abilities.  The validity of the on-road assessment has been determined by Lizette Swanepoel (Swanepoel, 2015).