Learn about physical abilities, health conditions and driving
Physical abilities needed to drive safely include:
Reflexes to respond quickly to sudden changes and unexpected situations
Arm, hand and leg strength to work pedals, shifters and other controls
Good blood circulation so that the muscles, brain and eyes work well
People with physical limitations can drive safely with car modifications, such as:
Hand controls for gas and brakes
Adjustable foot pedals
Wide view mirrors
Occupational therapists can do comprehensive driving evaluations and suggest car modifications, driving strategies and other ways to increase driving safely.
Some health conditions have physical effects that can make driving difficult, including:
Arthritis, which can reduce flexibility, limit movement, slow reaction times and cause pain that makes concentrating difficult
Diabetes, which can affect vision, weaken muscles and reflexes in the legs and feet, and cause sleepiness, light-headedness and confusion
Parkinson's disease, which can weaken balance, reduce muscle control and slow reaction times
Irregular heartbeats or arrhythmias, which can cause light-headedness and confusion
Health professionals can explain how health conditions might affect driving and help people manage chronic conditions well, so that they can keep driving safely.