OBJECTIVE. To determine off-road and on-road driving evaluation practices of clinicians in the United States and Canada who assess individuals with disabilities for fitness to drive.
PARTICIPANTS. Participants were 114 clinician attendees at the 2003 annual Association of Driver Educators for the Disabled with driving assessment experience ranging from 1 month to 25 years.
MEASURES. Information was elicited regarding the clinician, clientele, referral practices, and off-road and on-road driving evaluation practices and retraining practices using a self-administered questionnaire.
RESULTS. Participants were largely occupational therapists (68%) who worked in 42 different states and provinces. The most prevalent clientele were persons with traumatic brain injury (97%) and stroke (96%). Testing times greater than 60 min were common for both the off-road (61%) and on-road (49%) evaluations. Commonly performed off-road assessments included the Brake Reaction Timer; Trail Making Test, Parts A and B; and the Motor Free Visual Perception Test, used by 73%, 72%, and 66%, respectively; comprehensive computer-based driving evaluation was rare. Sixty-one percent indicated that all clients underwent on-road evaluation regardless of the off-road results. Finally, 78% used a standard driving route, whereas 24% used a scoring system to evaluate on-road driving.
CONCLUSION. Driving assessment in Canada and the United States is multidimensional and time-intensive. Although the domains being assessed are similar across clincians, specific off-road and on-road assessment practices vary greatly. The majority use nonstandardized on-road assessments.