What Are Driving Rehabilitation Services?
Driving rehabilitation is a service for personal injury clients who need assistance to get back into their vehicle and on the road to recovery. Similar to driver’s education courses, it involves a combination of rehabilitative activities inside the car and outside of the car. Clients are introduced to strategies for how to drive under the new circumstances they are now faced with.
If you need driving rehabilitation, you can expect to start with a driving assessment to ascertain where your individual challenges lie. Instructors typically have a psychological as well as a teaching background, which helps them understand your specific needs and difficulties.
Driving rehabilitation can be broken into two major categories, although individuals often experience a combination of both:
Driving Rehabilitation for Physical Injuries
The most straightforward type of driving rehabilitation deals with overcoming the person’s physical injuries.
Certain physical injuries make it difficult or impossible to drive a vehicle using the standard setup (e.g. brake and gas pedals at the feet). Particularly for those who are paraplegic or suffer another lower body injury, vehicles must be modified to accommodate their needs. This may mean, for example, learning to drive a car where the brake and gas functions are handles instead of pedals.
It takes some practice and getting used to, but through the sessions with the driving rehabilitation instructors, many people with physical injuries are able to resume driving.
Driving Rehabilitation for Psychological Challenges
While driving rehabilitation assists those with physical challenges, the more common scenario involves the injured person developing a psychological issue with driving. This is particularly common after a motor vehicle accident (MVA) for both passengers and drivers.
After an MVA, going back on the road can trigger anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or hyper-vigilance. It could be related to highways specifically, or the area they used to drive through every day where the accident happened (e.g. on the way to work), or it could be the passenger who can’t let others drive anymore because they don’t feel comfortable with the loss of control. The injured person could be completely uncomfortable getting in a car at all or having loved ones get in a car.
These challenges can drastically change the injured person’s everyday life. It may take them much longer to get to work or to visit family because they are avoiding highways, or perhaps they find they can’t go at all.
Don’t forget about your loved ones’ reactions and feelings to your own traumatic event and how that trauma might be making them feel, especially in cases with extreme trauma like very serious accidents or near death critical injuries. Getting back into a car for your loved one may also require consideration for driving rehabilitation for them.
When it comes to trauma and children, it has been medically acceptable that early treatment can prevent potential longer or life-long psychological issues for these children. To learn more about this, please see my previous article, “Helping Children Overcome Psychological Trauma after Car Accidents”.
Quantifying Damages for Driving Rehabilitation
It is the injured person’s responsibility to mitigate their losses, which means if they are having physical or psychological difficulty driving they cannot simply say they can’t drive to work anymore – they must attempt to get back on the road, which often means seeking driving rehabilitation services.
Driving rehabilitation services are relatively straightforward to quantify in a personal injury law case. If you are able to prove your difficulty driving is a result of the accident, you can claim the cost charged by the third party service provider for this type of rehabilitation.
If you have sustained a personal injury at another party’s fault, please contact me and my team of experienced personal injury lawyers for a free consultation.
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