Driver assessment and training
Your ability to drive may be affected by visual, cognitive, physical or medical challenges, developmental or physical disability, changes due to aging, or mental health issues. Whether you are a new or an experienced driver, a driving assessment and training may help you remain independent on the road.
To schedule an appointment at any of our locations please call 612-262-7855.
What it is
The two-part comprehensive driving assessment consists of clinical and on-the-road assessments.
The clinical assessment includes:
- vision testing
- reaction-time screening
- memory and problem solving
- upper and lower body strength and coordination
- cognitive processing skills.
The on-the-road driving assessment include
- assessment in a sedan or accessible minivan
- prescription for adaptive driving equipment.
What to expect
After you check in, plan on three hours for the driver assessment. This includes:
- 90 minutes for the evaluator to talk with you about your medical history, driving history, and to do the clinical testing
- 5- to 10-minute break
- 45 to 60 minutes for on-the-road driving
- 15 to 30 minutes for the evaluator to go over the results with you.
During the clinical portion of the assessment, your driver rehabilitation specialist will evaluate you on many critical driving skills such as your:
- physical abilities
- attention to details
- ability to think and problem solve quickly.
For the drive portion, your driver specialist will evaluate how you:
- operate the vehicle
- follow the rules of the road
- react in a variety of traffic scenarios.
If you haven't driven in a while or if you have never driven, please tell your evaluator during the clinical part of your assessment. You do not need to practice driving before the assessment.
A family member or friend may be with you except during the on-the-road driving. You will need to have a family member or friend drive you home if you don’t pass the driving assessment.
Members of the assessment team include occupational therapists, Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists (CDRS), and driving instructors licensed by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.
You will use a Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute vehicle for the on-the-road portion of your assessment. All vehicles are equipped with a brake pedal on the evaluator side which our staff member can use in case of an emergency.
Your evaluator will help you with the vehicle and will:
- help you adjust the seat and mirrors
- show you where the speedometer and turn signals are located
- if needed, install adaptive equipment for you to try on the road.
You will drive on roads in the community. Before heading out, your evaluator will ask you about the roads and environments on which you typically drive. Your evaluator will give you directions on where to go during the drive.
Good to know
Potential outcomes of an assessment
Outcomes generally fall into one of the following categories:
- continue driving
- continue driving with restrictions, such as no night driving, no rush hour driving, or driving only within a determined distance from your home.
- continue driving with vehicle modifications. Lessons are recommended to further develop skill and safety in using any new equipment and to prepare you for the State road test.
- driving lessons
- referral to therapy to determine if skills required for driving can be improved. Therapy may include physical, occupational, vision, behavioral or other. An extended assessment may be recommended to establish consistency in driving safety.
- discontinue driving. A list of alternative transportation options will be provided.
You will get a full printed copy of the assessment report. The report is part of your Allina Health electronic health record. With your permission, the report is sent to your doctor, care provider(s) or other team members involved with your care.
If you need adaptive equipment
If the assessment result is that you need adaptive equipment to drive, you may return to Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute for driving lessons to:
- learn how to use the equipment and review rules of the road
- evaluate if the equipment is the best fit for you
- monitor your progress in learning to use the adaptations.
If you show the potential to use the equipment and show safe driving practices, you may take your State road test using a Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute vehicle. The road test is required by law (M.S. 171.09).
Your assessment results are kept confidential, but we encourage involvement with your physician and family. With your permission, your physician is given a copy of your results.
There is not a study guide for you to prepare for the assessment. It is a good idea to keep up-to-date on current rules of the road and defensive driving. The Courage Kenny driving assessment is different than the Minnesota written test.
Driver Assessment and Training services typically are self-pay. In some cases, funding may be available through the State's Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, workers' compensation, school systems and Medicaid waivers.* Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute offers a cost share program for people who qualify based on income and assets. Contact the scheduling team for more information.
*Waiver case managers, please submit a service agreement and the Waiver Services Request Form which can be found in the Related links section below.
Good for treating
Driver assessment and training services are designed for seniors and people with:
- Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
- autism spectrum disorders
- physical or developmental disabilities
- degenerative neurological conditions
- learning and developmental disabilities
- mental health disorder
- other diagnoses or health conditions
- spinal cord injury
- traumatic brain injury
- visual impairment
Reviewed by: Kathy Woods
Last reviewed: 8/1/2018