Assessment Process

Why Driving Matters?

  • For most people, driving is one of the important part of their daily life for socialising, work and accessing everyday needs like shopping.
  • Driving gives people independence – “you can go where you want, when you want”. 
  • Medical Fitness to Drive guideline highlights the need to appreciate and accept responsibility for managing health and medications for safe driving.
  • Doctor may advise the impact of health and medications on driving and it is our responsibility not to drive, if we ever feel unfit to do so.

As a responsible driver:

  • We should follow doctor’s advice
  • Do not ignore signs of conditions which may make you unfit and unsafe to drive. For example, not driving when feel dizzy/ or light-headed, or if you are a diabetic and feel hypoglycaemic.

Driver fitness is governed by EU law and regulations made in Ireland under the Road Traffic Acts

What is a Medical Fitness To Drive assessment?

  • It is medical assessment of a person’s driving abilities.
  • It involves the expertise of Medical Doctor, Occupational Therapist, On-Road Driving Assessor (ORDA), other health professionals (Physiotherapist, Optometrist etc.) and NDLS (National Driver Licence Service).  

 Who might need a Medical Fitness To Drive assessment (MFTD)?

List of conditions which may impact on driving fitness:

  • Any medical or functional impairment which may impact driving ability
  • Newly acquired disability
  • Deteriorating or progressive medical condition(s)
  • Age related changes
  • Congenital disabilities
  • 70 Years of age and over when applying for or renewing Driver Licence
  • Concern raised by family members

Aim of Medical fitness to Drive

  • To ensure you are able to continue driving safely.
  • To reduce any driving-related road safety risks for the individual & the community due to driver’s permanent or long-term injury/ illness.
  • To maintain the daily routine and independence.

How it is done?

  • Referral to occupational therapist by General Physician (GP), Consultant , Public Health Nurse, any health professional, a prospective client or family member or friend when they are concerned about driving ability of client.   
  • Occupational therapist will make an appointment for Off-Road Driving Assessment and On-Road Driving Assessment and Intervention.

What to expect from Occupational Therapist?  

  • Occupational Therapist will do Off-Road Driving Skills Assessment.
  • The assessment takes approximately 2.5 hours. It includes identification of individual’s abilities and needs through a mix of discussions/interview, observation, informal and formal assessments.
  • An interview to obtain information regarding your driving history.
  • Assessment of your physical ability.
  • Assessment of higher mental functions such as reasoning, judgement, safety etc.
  • In car assessment (stationary).  

Occupational Therapist may refer you to the appropriate On-Road Driving Assessor.

On-Road Driving Assessment

  • The On-Road driving assessment is carried out by a qualified driving assessor in your own car and usually in your own locality.
  • The On-Road Driving Assessor will be assessing any concerns that Occupational Therapist may have identified from Pre-Driving Skills Assessment.
  • You must have a current Driving Licence and up to date motor car insurance. 
  • On-Road Driving Assessor will provide a report to General Physician/Occupational therapist.
  • On-Road Driving Assessor may also make recommendations for you to have additional driving lessons and/ or adaptations made to your car.

 Remember, this is not a driving test but rather a general overview of your driving ability.