If you have a disability, injury or medical issue that may impact your ability to operate a vehicle safely, you might be required to complete your driver medicals.
This involves having a qualified occupational therapist evaluate your abilities and determine whether you need any equipment or aids to help you get on the road.
But what exactly can you expect throughout the process? This article shares everything you need to know.
Reasons you may require an evaluation
Driver medicals assessment can help RMS determine whether you are fit to operate a vehicle. Here are the most common reasons why you might need to get one done:
You may need an evaluation if you have recently acquired a disability, or if you have had a long-term disability and are applying for your licence for the first time. This could be a mental disability, such as schizophrenia, or a physical disability, such as an amputated limb.
If you have recently had an injury that could negatively impact your ability to operate a vehicle safely (e.g. a broken arm or swollen eye), you may need to have your driver medicals assessment to find out if you need rehabilitation.
Medical issues such as heart disease can potentially damage your ability to safely operate a vehicle. Have a chat with your doctor – they may require you to get an evaluation done.
The natural process of ageing can also impair your ability to stay on the road, with issues like vision and hearing impairment potentially becoming an issue. If you are aged over 65, you may need to do an evaluation to check that it is safe to keep using your vehicle.
What the evaluation involves
Driver medicals consist of two sections: an on-road and off-road component. These will determine the ergonomic, functional, performance and medical aspects of your ability to operate a vehicle. Following the evaluation, your occupational therapist will have a chat with you about your options and provide you with a report you can give to your doctor and/or the RMS. The process takes around 6 hours to complete.
The first step involves discussing your medical issues and medical history as well as goals for the evaluation. You will also be required to perform a few tests of visual, physical and cognitive performance.
The on-road component of driver medicals will require you to operate a dual controlled car with your occupational therapist present. They will evaluate your ability to use the car safely and determine whether there are any aids that could help make it easier for you.
They will then provide you with a detailed report covering your outcomes and any recommendations. Your licence can then be updated with RMS.
How to select a quality provider
Make sure to choose your driver medicals provider that is experienced at working in the field and in dealing with the particular medical issue or disability you have. It is important that the occupational therapist is professional, supportive and empathetic. They should also offer fair, transparent and competitive rates. To find a good provider, try using online or word-of-mouth recommendations. Websites like Yelp are generally considered trustworthy sources of reviews.
Getting your driver medicals is often required when you have an injury, disability or medical issue that could significantly impair your ability to safely operate a vehicle. They are an excellent way to help you get back on the road by providing you with the support you need.