Adaptive Driving Program FAQs
What is included in the driving evaluation?
The evaluation is approximately three hours long and consists of both a clinical and a behind-the-wheel assessment. It is a performance-based evaluation; in other words, it is not based on your previous driving record or years of driving experience, but rather on how you perform on the day of the evaluation.
Is the driving evaluation a pass/fail test?
A driving evaluation is a therapeutic evaluation, not a test. Our therapist will make one of three recommendations at the conclusion of the evaluation: (1) That you are ready to resume driving, (2) that you are in need of further training or (3) that you should discontinue/retire from driving.
How do I get a recommendation to return to driving?
If you complete the entire 20 mile route without the therapist needing to intervene by using the brake, taking control of the steering or telling you to do something that an experienced driver would know to do, then the recommendation would be to resume driving.
What would cause me to get a recommendation for more training?
If you are not able to complete the full route, or if it is necessary for the therapist to intervene for a safety reason, or if you are demonstrating a skill level that is not safe, the therapist may recommend follow-up training. As an occupational therapist, this should be considered a therapeutic intervention. Specific goals would be established that would need to be achieved. Follow-up training will only be recommended if there is a reasonable potential for you to make corrections and be safe. Even so, success cannot be guaranteed.
What would cause me to get a recommendation that I retire from driving?
If you are unable to demonstrate the ability to drive safely, and follow-up training is not expected to have a reasonable potential to correct the deficits, then the recommendation to discontinue/retire from driving would be made.
If I have never driven, can you teach me?
Our therapists are experienced in training individuals with a variety of diagnoses; however, no guarantee can be made that every patient will be successful in learning to drive. The possibility of a trial period of driving may be considered in order to demonstrate the ability to learn basic skills. The full training for an individual who has never driven is a very lengthy process and decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
Will I get the results of the evaluation while I am there?
Yes. We will provide immediate feedback throughout the evaluation process. A verbal review with recommendations and a plan of care is provided at the conclusion of the evaluation. A written report is sent to you, your physician and the referral source (if needed). You will receive the same information as the physician.
Does commercial insurance or Medicare pay the cost of the evaluation?
The ability to drive is not considered a medical necessity; therefore, Medicare and most commercial insurances do not cover the cost. Your options are Worker’s Compensation, the Texas Workforce Commission and/or paying out of pocket.
Is it necessary to be re-tested at the Department of Public Safety?
Yes. After a change in your mental or physical condition that could affect your ability to drive safely, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas Department of State Health Services require you to report to the DPS for testing. We will help with evaluating, training and adaptive equipment, but you must pass the DPS road test to legally return to driving.
I passed the driving evaluation, does that clear me to drive?
No. The Texas Department of Public Safety is the ONLY legal authority that can put on your permanent driving record that you are safe to return to driving.
What should I do to prepare for the evaluation and/or follow-up training?
Since you should not drive on public streets until you have proven yourself to the DPS, we must advise you not to practice before your evaluation. The evaluation route isdesigned to gradually work up from simple to complex driving scenarios. The progression allows time for you make the necessary adjustments. If you need to review the rules of the road, you can pick up a free handbook at any local DPS office, or online at www.txdps.state.tx.us.
Is it legally required to go through the driving evaluation at Baylor Rehab?
No. However, it is legally required that you prove your ability to safely drive at the Department of Public Safety. Many physicians require our driving evaluation before they will release you to drive. Additionally, some funding agencies require it as a part of the return to work process, and before they will modify a vehicle with adaptive equipment.
If I don’t do well on the driving evaluation, do you take my driver’s license away?
No. Only the DPS or a judge has that authority.
Do you use a simulator for the evaluation and/or follow-up training?
No. All evaluations and training are live drive experiences in one of the vehicles we provide.
Does Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation offer classroom driver education?
No. The Baylor Rehab Adaptive Driving Program specializes in behind the wheel driving.
The Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation regulates classroom driver education programs. For information, go to: www.tdlr.texas.gov/driver/driver.htm–follow the link to Driver Education
- If you are between 15 and 18, you must complete the 32-hour classroomeducation course either through a commercial driving school, or through an approved parent-taught course.
- If you are between the ages of 18 and 25, you must complete a six hour driver education course. Information is available at the Texas Education Agency website.
- If you are over age 25, you may simply study the Texas Department of Public Safety Driver Handbook to prepare for the written examination. It is available at any local DPS office, or online at the Texas DPS website.
Will participation in the Driver Rehabilitation Program result in reduced insurance rates?
No. Only classroom driver education or defensive driving courses can lower your rates.
Do I need to obtain an instruction permit?
Depending on your age, you will need to take any required driver education course and/or study independently for the DPS written examination. For information, go to:www.tdlr.texas.gov/driver/driver.htm–follow the link to Driver Education and Training. If you are between 15 and 18, you must complete the 32 hour classroom education course either through a commercial driving school or through an approved parent-taught course. If you are between the ages of 18 and 25, you must complete a six-hour driver education course. If you are over age 25, you may simply study the Texas Department of Public Safety Driver Handbook to prepare for the written examination. It is available at any local DPS office or online at the Texas DPS website.
What kind of adaptive equipment is in the Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation vehicles?
We currently have sedans with quick-release interchangeable hand controls, a left foot accelerator, and various steering wheel attachments. Our therapist determines which equipment will be most appropriate for you. If equipment is not needed, it is completely removed from the vehicle during the evaluation and training.
Can I use my personal car for the evaluation?
No, by law a certified driving instructor is required to have an instructor brake in the vehicle in order to take control if necessary. Occasionally follow-up training is done from the patient’s personal vehicle if the hospital vehicle does not have the necessary equipment. This is only the case when the patient’s medical condition requires moderate to high tech vehicle modifications. In that situation, an instructor brake must be installed for use during training, and then removed after training is completed.
I have some outstanding tickets, and I have a warrant out for my arrest. Can I still do the evaluation?
No. You will need to take responsibility for clearing any legal issues before we can take you out on public streets.
I have had a seizure. Can I still drive?
The current Medical Advisory Board guidelines (revised 11/2013) state that a person holding a Class C license must be seizure free for a period of three months. However, there are exceptions to the three month rule that may be considered by DPS, which you should speak to your instructor about. For individuals with a Class C license who drive taxies, busses or emergency vehicles; or those holding a Class A or Class B license, additional guidelines are in place.
I have never driven before, and I am not sure that I can. Do I have to have a driver’s license to have the evaluation?
When a person has never driven, the evaluation will be geared more heavily towards the clinical assessment with a brief parking lot assessment for the behind-the-wheel portion. A new driver will require extensive training, and therefore will not be asked to drive on public streets on the first day. If the recommendation is made for continued follow-up training, however, you will be required to obtain an instruction permit.
What if my license has expired?
If it has been expired less than two years, a simple renewal is all that is necessary. If more than two years, you must fill out a new application and take the written examination again. You will probably be issued a new license with a different number. In either case, a restriction of having a licensed driver 21 or over in the front seat may need to be added in order to perform the behind the wheel evaluation and training. The restriction can be removed when you take the driving test at the DPS.
I lost my driver’s license, but I know my number or have a photocopy of it. Can I still do the evaluation or training?
No. It is illegal to drive on public streets without a current, valid driver’s license in your possession. A parking lot only evaluation can be done, however, it would only be useful in the case of a new driver, or to determine what type of adaptive equipment you will be using. In order to determine your safety on public streets, you must be evaluated on public streets.
If my license has been suspended or revoked, can you help me get it back?
No. At this point, only the DPS or a judge can reverse a suspension or revocation. It has become a legal issue, and you must follow the process set forth. If a temporary license can be obtained for use during the evaluation or training, then the therapist can perform the necessary training to see if you can become a safe driver.
Will my automobile insurance rates automatically go up because I have a disability?
Insurance rates are based on your previous driving history and the cost of your vehicle. Since the Americans with Disabilities Act went into effect, it is illegal to discriminate against a person based solely on the fact that they have a disability. If you drive a high-tech van you should expect your rates to be higher.
How do I schedule an appointment?
You must first obtain a prescription from your physician with the following information: Your name, date of birth, diagnosis, date the prescription was written and the physician’s signature. Then call one of our locations to set up an appointment. If you have a funding source such as Worker’s Comp or the Texas Workforce Commission, the referral must be initiated by your counselor or case manager.