Adapted Driving Program
The Adapted Driving Program, a service provided by our occupational therapists, is designed for individuals who have physical or cognitive problems that may affect their ability to drive safely. The program is available to licensed drivers who have suffered a neurological event such as a stroke, brain or spinal cord injury, MS, or dementia or who have orthopedic issues that interfere with driving, including limb amputation.
All candidates for adapted driving must have medical clearance from a physician and a valid driver’s license before entering the program. All evaluations are completed by an occupational therapist experienced in driver rehabilitation. The service begins with a pre-driving assessment of your potential to be a safe driver. On the successful completion of the assessment, the therapist provides an on-the-road evaluation in a specially modified full-size car. For individuals who will require adaptive devices in order to drive, one-on-one driver training is provided specifically on how to use this equipment. These sessions are specifically tailored to meet your individual needs. After successfully completing the program, the therapist will refer you to the Department of Motor Vehicles for final approval to drive.
Helen Hayes Hospital is now home to a state-of-the-art adaptive driving evaluation van. The van and custom evaluation tools were purchased with a generous $75,000 grant awarded to the Helen Hayes Hospital Foundation by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. The adapted devices include a power lift and wheelchair lockdown, which give individuals the option of transferring into the driver’s seat or driving while still seated in a wheelchair. The van also comes equipped with hand controls, a left foot gas pedal, a standard right directional for single-arm driving, and other evaluation tools.
For information on the Adapted Driving Program at our hospital in West Haverstraw, NY, including evaluation, training, fees or to schedule an appointment, call 845-786-4194 or 1-800-70REHAB ext. 4194.
For more information on adaptive driving, visit:
- Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists
- National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association
- www.nmeda.com/how-to-buy/ – additional information on how to purchase a modified vehicle.
- www.nmeda.com/what-to-buy/ – additional information on selecting a vehicle to purchase.
- NYS Vocational Services Program
- The Hartford Center for Mature Market Excellence – resource for older drivers, families, and safety in the home.