To return to driving following a spinal cord injury the person may require medical clearance and may be required to undergo further assessment.
The return to driving process
- Notify Transport for NSW
- A licensed driver has a legal obligation to notify Transport for NSW of a spinal cord injury as it can affect their ability to drive.
- Medical clearance
- A NSW Fitness to Drive Medical Assessment form must be completed by a medical specialist or general practitioner.
- There are two potential outcomes: the medical specialist may provide clearance for return to driving with no further assessment required or may recommend a driving assessment with a driver-trained occupational therapist.
- The person’s licence is temporarily replaced with a learner licence during the period of assessment and/or lessons and driving test.
- Driving assessment
- The driving assessment will consist of an off-road and on-road component and will determine the need for vehicle modification and driving lessons.
- The driver-trained occupational therapist will advise the Transport for NSW of the assessment outcome.
- Test with Transport for NSW
- The test with Transport for NSW is undertaken with the recommended modifications that can be completed in a driving assessor’s car.
- The recommended modifications will need to be installed into the person’s vehicle.
- Return to driving
- Once deemed appropriate, the person can return to driving and their licence will be updated with conditions specific to their needs and vehicle modifications.
- The person may also be eligible for an Australian Disability Parking Permit.
- Method of getting in and out of the vehicle
- Funding for assessment and lessons
- Stowing the wheelchair
- Potential side effects of medications
- Pressure injury prevention.