Services and treatments
Cerebrovascular Accident (CVA)
Daily Living Skills
Driving Evaluation and Safety
Ergonomic Training & Consultation
Falls Prevention Clinic
Headaches and TMJ
Interactive Metronome Program
Job Placement Assessment
Low Vision Therapy
Multiple Sclerosis Clinic
Neck and Low Back Pain
Pediatric Speech Therapy
Sensory Integration Therapy
Soft Tissue Technique
Strain Counter Strain
Therapeutic Listening Program
Total Joint Rehab Class
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Urinary Incontinence Therapy
Vestibular Rehab & Balance
Work Site Analysis
Driving Evaluation and Safety
Driving represents independence and control over our lives. Driving gives us the freedom to visit family and friends, go out to eat, shop, worship, and get to appointments without having to ask for help. However, unsafe driving puts our lives and the lives of others at risk so it's important for all of us to be safe and skilled drivers.
It isn't unusual for driving skills to deteriorate with age, and it makes sense that as skills decline, accidents increase. The number of accidents per mile driven increases with age and rises sharply after age 75.
Many drivers adjust as their abilities change, such as not driving at night, and most are able to maintain safe driving habits. Other drivers may not see or want to admit to the physical, visual or cognitive changes that affect their safe driving ability.
If you are concerned about your driving skills, or if you know someone who may not be driving his/her best, talk about it with a family member and consider visiting with your family physician about a driving evaluation.
Driving evaluations and driving rehabilitation can help you safely maintain your independence. Focus is on safe and effective driving skills, whether you're out at the family farm or in a metropolitan area. The Interactive Driving Simulator helps evaluate many skills necessary for safe driving. It can also be used to strengthen driving skills when appropriate, such as after a traumatic brain injury or stroke.
Is it time for a check-up?
Rice Rehabilitation Center offers an evaluation to assess your driving skills.
The evaluation includes:
- Physical skills - strength, flexibility, coordination
- Cognitive skills - processing information
- Vision and visual perception
- Knowledge of general driving regulations
- Understanding traffic signs
- Reaction times
- Interactive Driving Simulator
- Review of medications that may affect safe driving (such as heart, high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, sleep, and pain pills)
- Review of medical conditions that may affect safe driving (such as diabetes, stroke, Parkinson's, seizure disorder, Alzheimer's dementia, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and difficulty staying awake)
The Driving Evaluation takes about two hours and is administered by an occupational therapist. The driving simulator has three computer monitors in front of a cockpit. The cockpit has all of the similarities of a real car to make it as realistic as possible. There is the capability of removing the seat so a person who drives from a wheelchair base would be able to use this system. It also has hand controls for individuals who use them to drive.
The Driving Evaluation and Rehabilitation Program at Rice Rehab Center is available through your physicians referral.
For more information about the Driving Evaluation Program,
Rice Rehabilitation Center
311 SW 3rd St.
Willmar, MN 56201
Lynn Stier, Director