Acquired Brain Injury - Driving Mobility

Acquired Brain Injury

The brain controls nearly everything we do which means that an acquired brain injury (ABI) can have significant impact on our ability to function and drive. 

Depending on the part of the brain involved and the severity of the injury, the symptoms of an ABI can vary significantly.  People who have suffered an ABI may present with changes affecting:

  • Vision
  • Speech and language
  • Thinking skills
  • Coordination
  • Balance
  • Posture
  • Behaviour
  • Strength, stamina and speed of movement

Every brain injury is different so should be considered on an individual basis.  A minor brain injury with a quick and full recovery is different to a significant brain injury resulting in long lasting impairment.  Due to the possible complex nature of an ABI, a medical assessment is advised before returning to driving.  If your doctor or specialist says you are medically fit to consider a return to driving, then you may want to consider an actual Driving Assessment through an accredited Mobility Centre.  The Driving Assessment involves a specialist team comprising a clinician and an approved driving instructor looking at your ability to drive.  They will make recommendations for you personally.  This may mean:

  • Being able to return to driving
  • Returning to driving after some tuition to rebuild confidence and refresh driving skills
  • Returning to driving with an adapted vehicle
  • Giving advice on coping with issues such as fatigue
  • Making driving easier for you with driving aids, postural support or techniques
  • Considering options for getting in and out of the vehicle
  • If you are a wheelchair user, looking at various options such as ramps, hoists or wheelchair accessible vehicle
  • Needing more recovery time and further rehabilitation before considering a return to driving

Driving after an ABI may need short term changes to allow a return to driving, but with continued therapy and rehabilitation your condition may continue to improve.  Your Mobility Centre will be able to offer help and advice throughout your recovery as your health changes.