November 19, 2018

A Guide to Getting a Driving Assessment After a Stroke

Unfortunately, even if you had a good recovery, a cardiovascular attack can still affect your ability to operate a vehicle. This is a complex task which requires many different skills to do in a safe manner. A cardiovascular attack can cause vision problems, fatigue, risk of seizures, physical changes and impairments in memory, reaction time, problem-solving and concentration. This article will outline the steps you need to take to get back on the road.


Your legal requirements

After a cardiovascular attack, you will need to let your state’s licencing authority know about the event. It is your responsibility to let them know of any medical status changes which may affect your ability to operate a vehicle long-term or short-term. You will likely also need a disability driving assessment after a stroke.

If you do not report this and you operate a vehicle, you may be charged in the event of an accident and likely won’t be covered by insurance. It is also a good idea to check with your insurance company whether you need to change your policy as a result of the incident.


What to do


Before getting back on the road it’s essential that you take time to recover. Check with your doctor to determine your needs and how long it may take before you can operate a vehicle again. This may vary from weeks to months.


Visit a doctor

You will need to receive medical clearance from your doctor before going on to receive a disability driving assessment after a stroke. They will examine you to determine whether there are any issues which need to be resolved or may impair your ability to operate a vehicle.


Meet with an occupational therapist

An occupational therapist can give you a driving assessment after a stroke to determine whether you are fit to operate a vehicle or whether you require rehabilitation. This will involve both on-road and off-road testing. The therapist will create a report letting you know how you went.


What the road test involves

A driving assessment after a stroke will analyse your physical and mental capacity to operate a vehicle safely. It is made up of on-road and off-road components, which generally takes between 2-3 hours to perform in total. The therapist may provide recommendations as well as advice on aids and rehabilitation plans if needed.



Off-road test

This element of the test looks at your medical reports and tests things such as reaction speed, eyesight and cognitive abilities. The therapist will create a plan for the on-road test following this component. It may take between 1-1.5 hours to complete. You will need to take your driver’s licence and glasses if worn.


On-road test

The second component of a driving assessment after a stroke aims to determine your actual performance on the road. This will take place in the occupational therapist’s dual-controlled vehicle along with any required modifications or aids. They will observe your ability to use skills such as knowledge of road rules, judgment, planning and vehicle handling.

This may take about 45-60 minutes to finish. Following the test, the therapist will write up a report on how you went.



Getting back on the road is important to help maintain a sense of independence, mobility and freedom. However, it is essential that you take care of yourself after a cardiovascular attack and complete the requirements before operating a vehicle again. This will ensure your safety and the safety of other people on the road. A driving assessment after a stroke is an essential step to recovery.




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