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Return to Driving Following Stroke, SCI and Brain Injury

  • STEP For Recovery 7980 Chapel Hill Road, Suite 115 Cary, NC, 27513 United States (map)

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Returning to Drive following a SCI, Brain Injury or Stroke

Why might you need a Medical Driving Evaluation?  

A spinal cord injury, brain injury, stroke or other neurological condition can affect more than just your mobility and strength.  Many factors can come into play: vision, reaction time, spasticity, memory, safety awareness, verbal skills, and spatial awareness. 

These factors affect not only how you drive, but how you respond to other when you are on the road.  Our goal at STEPS is to make your transition back to driving as successful and easy, as possible, even if that means accepting that you may need to wait until you get more cognitive/motor recovery before getting back behind the wheel.  A medical driving evaluation is a valuable tool that helps give you the insight you need to make a good decision about when it is safe to return to driving.

Here are some functional skills that you need to consider before you return to drive.  If you struggle with any of the following, consider asking your PT/OT/ST to help you with these goals:

Can you get into and out of the car with independence and safety?

Can you get your equipment into and out of the car (wheelchair, walker, crutches) safely?

Can you pick up your keys if you drop them on the ground?

Can you route find where you are going and remember how to get home?

Do you have awareness of traffic safety laws and show good judgment when on the road?

Do you have a plan of what to do if you get in an accident while driving?

Do you have an emergency preparedness card that describes your impairments to show police if you are pulled over for a traffic violation (ex. aphasia card)?

 Here is the contact information for Medical Driving Evaluation:

Driving Evaluations

The Evaluator Driving Company

Paul Riley-

Cell: (919) 423.1611   Office: (919) 477-9465     Fax: (919) 973-2974


Driver Rehabilitation Services, P.A. A.

Cyndee Crompton, MS, OT, CDRS

For information, call 336-697-7841

Toll Free: 888 888-0039


UNC Driving Simulator

Prescription for OT Eval-Driving Assessment Required

(919) 595-9641


Duke Driving Program

Department of Physical and Occupational Therapy

DUMC Box 3965 Durham, NC 27710

For information, call 919-684-2445