Am I eligible to participate in driver training?

Driver Training Services are available to individuals who have successfully completed a driver evaluation and received training recommendations from the evaluating therapist. To be eligible for training services a driver must have a valid learner’s permit or license. Teens under 18 need to complete classroom driver’s education via their high school and have a Restricted Instruction Permit (SBTS-800 form) provided by the drivers education instructor.

What do I need to know about driver training?

Driver Training refers to individualized, behind the wheel, in-vehicle instruction. The client will be in the driver’s seat while the instructor coaches from the passenger seat. Vehicles used for training are equipped with dual brakes, extra mirrors and safety signage as required by the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles. The driving instructor has access to a trainer brake on the passenger side of the vehicle in order to optimize safety. The driver will practice skills needed for independent vehicle operation such as accelerating, braking, parking, backing, etc. Training will also assure that the driver is making independent decisions such as judging gaps in traffic for lane changes, route planning, and management of construction zones and other hazards to assure safety on public roadways.

Upon completion of training with adaptive equipment, the driver is issued a certificate of proficiency. After the client’s vehicle is adapted with the recommended driving controls and during the final training phase in their adapted vehicle, the training will include going to the local DMV office to take the road test and receive their license with the appropriate legal restrictions. If training does not include adaptive equipment, the final training hours can be completed in the client’s vehicle and include going to the local DMV office to take the road test and receive their licence in their personal vehicle.

Where does training take place?

Training Services are usually provided in the client’s local driving environment. Under special circumstances, training may occur in the vicinity of Driver Rehabilitation Services office. This is more probable if training should occur with the evaluating therapist or if it allows the client to receive services quicker.

How do I train with adaptive equipment such as hand controls?

Driver training services are provided in a Driver Rehabilitation Services company vehicle that is set up to meet the individual’s adaptive equipment needs. Adaptive equipment available includes:
Hand Controls (a variety of types, styles, both left and right hand base)
Pedal extenders (can be useful for short statured individuals)
Left Foot Accelerator
Steering orthotics (spinner knobs, single post orthotics, tri-pin grip)
A fully accessible wheelchair van is used with clients who will drive from their wheelchair
Upon training completion, a vehicle prescription is provided for obtaining the necessary equipment in the client’s own vehicle. Training in a client’s own vehicle is provided once the client’s vehicle has been modified with the prescribed adaptive equipment.

Can someone participate in driver training if no adaptive equipment is needed?

Individualized training may be warranted for clients with learning disabilities, visual challenges or cognitive challenges such as Autism, Asperger’s or a brain injury. This type of driver rehabilitation involves teaching clients how to improve vehicle handling, visual scanning, and cognitive decision making behind the wheel.