Learning to drive is something everyone looks forward to, after relying on public transport or parents for so long, there’s no greater feeling than being completely free. However, for some people, this isn’t so simple. What happens if you have a disability? Keep reading to find out how you take a driving assessment after an amputation or if you have a disability.
Can I learn to drive with a disability?
In NSW if you have a physical disability, you will still have the opportunity to learn to drive. This also includes people who have lost limbs; therefore, you will still be able to take a driving assessment post amputation. The RMS doesn’t need a medical review if you have a minor disability. However, if you are considered to have a seriously incapacity, you can take a disability driving test.
What is considered a minor disability?
A minor disability is identified as something that doesn’t prevent you from being safe on the road. Examples of minor disabilities are a loss of up to three fingers on one hand, a loss of toes, joint stiffness and having one joint longer than the other. If you have a minor disability or loss of limb, you will still be able to take a standard driving assessment after an amputation.
What is a serious disability?
A serious disability means you are likely to require special adjustments to be able to drive safely. Some examples of serious disabilities are: loss or serious damage of one or both legs, loss or injury of both arms, loss of more than three fingers on one hand and any other serious physical incapacity. However, if you do have a serious disability or loss of limb, you will still be able to take a driving assessment post amputation.
What do I do if I have a serious disability?
If you are considered to have a serious disability, you will need to contact Modified Driving Solutions. Occupational Therapists will then evaluate your condition to determine if this will impact your ability to drive safely. These therapists will then decide what modifications will need to be made to the vehicle. Once modifications have been made to your car, you will need to visit a register or service centre to have the modifications noted on your license. Therefore, you will still be able to take a driving assessment after an amputation; you will just need to make sure you follow the relevant procedures.
What happens in the Occupational Therapy assessment?
The driving evaluation will consist of two parts, an off road evaluation, and an on road test. Firstly, an Occupational Therapist will meet with you to conduct the off road section, this is where they will look at your medical history and complete a physical, cognitive and visual evaluation. The point of this is to work out the extent of your condition and decide what, if any, modifications will need to be made to your car. Once this is complete, you will be able to undertake the on road section. The car will be fitted with the appropriate modifications, as well as dual controls. This will be the relevant driving assessment post amputation. But, like any other test, the purpose of this is to determine if you are safe on the road.
How do I get a learner license?
Before you can even take a driving assessment after an amputation, the first thing you’ll need to do is go to your doctor and get a full medical report. This will need to then be given to the Roads and Maritime Service to ensure they are aware of your condition. A doctor is also able to suggest any relevant restrictions that should be put on your license and what modifications you may need on your car. The license you have will then be given to you with the relevant alterations. You will need to undergo the same learner driver requirements as any new motorist before taking a disability driving test. Once you have completed the relevant learner requirements, you will then be able to complete your driving assessment post amputation.
In Australia, having a disability doesn’t mean you will never be allowed to drive, and most of the learning process will be the same as everyone experiences. But, if you do have a serious disability, make sure you talk to the RMS. The most important thing is to make sure you are going through the correct procedures for taking a driving assessment post amputation or with a disability. Once you know what modifications need to be made to your car, you’ll be driving around in no time.