Driver Evaluation and Advisement Program
Driver Evaluation and Advisement Program

Driver Evaluation and Advisement Program

Ensuring you or a loved one is safe on the road

For many of us, driving a car means independence and participation in activities we like and need to do.

Driving is a complex skill that can be affected by illness, injury and the aging process. If you are concerned about your driving or return to driving, or return to driving, or the abilities of a loved one, you can take advantage of Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall’s Driver Evaluation and Advisement Program.

MSLC’s Outpatient Rehabilitative Services Department offers a Driver Evaluation Program that assesses the
skills you need to drive safely. The evaluation identifies physical or cognitive changes that may affect driving ability.

The driver’s evaluation consists of two parts.

  • Part I — A clinical examination with a licensed Occupational Therapist in our Center. The therapist’s evaluation can be a useful tool to start the challenging conversation about when it is time for a loved one to stop driving. The Occupational Therapist does not report their findings to the Department of Motor Vehicles, but rather makes a clinical recommendation based on the driver’s
  • Part II— A driver evaluation by a driving instruction school.

The Occupational Therapist will use a variety of clinical tools as an assessment to gauge the foundations of
safe driving such as —

  • Vision, including acuity, scanning ability, peripheral vision, color discrimination, contrast sensitivity and glare sensitivity.
  • Perception, including depth perception, figure ground, 2D and 3D perception, overall spatial relations and spatial planning.
  • Cognitive Skills, including basic memory, auditory attention and processing, visual attention and processing, planning, judgment and safety, and problem solving.
  • Reaction Time, including moving the foot from the gas to the break in both simple and complex environments.
  • Motor Skills, including range of motion, strength, motor planning and coordination.

This initial assessment by the Occupational Therapist is vital to the second step, which is an evaluation at a professional driving school consisting of driving with an instructor in the instructor’s vehicle. Please note that the road test is not completed by the Occupational Therapist, and requires a formal test from a third party driving instructor. The therapist will share any potential hazards they found that the driving instructor should be aware of for the road test, but this function is not completed by the Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Rehabilitative Services Center. The instructor will test and further evaluate any areas of concern on the road.

The evaluation completed by the MSLC Occupational Therapist provides advisement and options when safe
driving is no longer feasible.

You might consider a Driver Evaluation for your loved one if you are noticing any of the following:

  • Any new dents and dings in the car, stories of “close calls” when driving or an increase of complaints of other drivers.
  • Traffic violations or citations.
  • Trouble with managing medications or finances, remembering daily routines, reports of concerns from their friends or neighbors. These can also be an indicator of a larger problem.
  • Hesitancy to drive to usual places or at certain times of the day (e.g., nighttime, rush hour)
  • Hesitancy to drive alone, recruiting a “co-pilot.”

Driver Evaluation Appointments Require a Referral From Your Physician.

Please contact your physician to obtain a referral that states "DRIVER EVALUATION" with the patient's name, phone number and medical diagnosis.

The in-clinic driver evaluation may be covered by insurance when you have a physician’s referral. Generally, the road evaluation is not covered. Please check with your insurance provider to confirm your coverage details.

For additional details, call the Montefiore St. Luke’s Cornwall Rehabilitative Services Cornwall location at (845) 458-4267.