Medical assessments and evaluations

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The Driver Fitness department utilizes a number of different assessments and on-road evaluations to determine your medical fitness to continue driving.

DriveABLE

DriveABLE is a special assessment that tests the specific cognitive functions essential for safe driving. It was developed through extensive research and is used around the world. Only drivers whose cognitive function is a concern will be required to take a DriveABLE assessment.

DriveABLE consists of two distinct levels of assessment: the computerized in-office assessment and the on-road evaluation (which is not required for everyone).

In-office assessment

This assessment is highly predictive of driving performance and is more fair and objective than tests that rely on the opinion of individual evaluators. Through the use of a computerized touch screen, which requires no prior computer knowledge, it evaluates several essential driving tasks:

  • Response time.
  • How well a driver notices things that happen off to the side while focusing straight ahead.
  • Judgment and decision-making abilities.
  • How quickly a driver can shift attention from one thing to another.
  • Ability to identify dangerous driving situations and take appropriate action.

In-office assessments take place in:

  • Winnipeg: 40 Lexington Park at Gateway Road
  • Brandon: 731–1st Street

The cost for the in-office assessment is $50. You will be responsible for this fee.

On-road cognitive evaluation

If you must participate in the on-road cognitive evaluation, you will be assessed on a standardized road course designed to examine the cognitive abilities required for safe driving. On-road evaluations are conducted in cars with dual controls that allow our driving examiner to take control of the vehicle, if required. The evaluations are equally fair and suitable for both urban and rural drivers, as familiarity with the area will not affect scoring.

On–road evaluations are conducted in:

  • Winnipeg: 15 Barnes Street at Bison Drive
  • Brandon: 731–1st Street

The cost for the on-road cognitive evaluation is $75. You will be responsible for this fee.

Driver Assessment Management Program

If you have a physical disability or suffer from combined physical and cognitive impairments, you may need to be assessed through the Driver Assessment and Management Program (DAMP).

DAMP is a comprehensive two-part assessment coordinated with the Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg and is conducted by an occupational therapist (OT) and driving instructor.

Part 1 of the assessment is conducted by the OT. It includes an interview to assess your medical history, driving needs, and insight into your driving ability.

During this portion, your physical, perceptual, and cognitive functions are assessed using various tests. An in-house stationary vehicle is used to assess reaction time and potential vehicle modifications. Preliminary recommendations are then made regarding your physical and cognitive competence and the need for adaptive controls.

Part 2 is a 30-45 minute on-road evaluation conducted by the DAMP driving instructor and OT in a dual-controlled vehicle. Your judgment, concentration, and physical management of the car are observed in a variety of driving situations. The use of adaptive controls, such as steering wheel spinner devices, left- foot gas pedal or hand controls, are assessed as required.

Following the assessment, the OT writes a report on your abilities, areas of concern, recommendations for vehicle modifications and licence restrictions. The report is filed in your Health Sciences Centre medical record and a copy is sent to Driver Fitness and the referring health-care provider.

The cost of the on-road evaluation is $150. You will be responsible for this fee. If lessons are recommended, you must pay for them separately.

Vehicle modifications

If the OT has recommended assistive devices/vehicle modifications to drive safely, the cost of purchasing and installing these devices is your responsibility. The OT will provide you with an information sheet outlining the required devices and a list of vendors.

In-vehicle evaluation

If you experience mild physical or sensory (touch) impairments or may have a medical condition that could affect your ability to drive safely, Driver Fitness will request an in-vehicle evaluation (IVE) with a driver examiner. This evaluation will give us the opportunity to assess your ability to control a vehicle in a safe manner.

An IVE may also be required following a DAMP assessment to determine your ability to drive with vehicle modifications.

If you have been advised by Driver Fitness that you may proceed with an IVE, please review your letter for contact information to book this appointment.

Evaluative road assessment

If your vision fails to meet the standards for safe driving, you may be eligible for an evaluative road assessment to determine if you're able to drive safely. The ability to compensate for reduced vision varies from person to person. Compensation mechanisms include mirror use, scanning, shoulder checks and the use of specialized corrective lenses.

If you have been advised by Driver Fitness that you require an evaluative road assessment, please review your letter for contact information to book this appointment.

What happens next?

If you have completed one of the above evaluations and have been advised by Driver Fitness that you are medically fit to continue driving, you may be required to file periodic medical and/or vision reports in the future. If you have a change in your medical condition, a reassessment of your fitness to drive may be required.

If you have completed one of the above evaluations and have been advised by Driver Fitness that you are no longer fit to drive and your licence has been suspended or declassed, you may have the right to appeal.