The ability to drive is an integral part of our daily lives and holds a lot of meaning to all of us as we age. Driving is our ability to access the community, provides us with independence, and is intimately tied into our idea of self-worth. Some people might be concerned that as we age or our neuropathy symptoms worsen, that we’ll lose the ability to drive.
Megan Frazier, MS, OTR, DRS, owner of Functional Stability and Mobility, spoke with us this summer and provided various resources for driving safety and information on potential driving options. Her company provides driving evaluations and training focused on keeping clients safely on the road for as long as possible. Symptoms such as foot and hand numbness, slowed response time, loss of balance, and difficulty knowing how much pressure you are putting on the pedal can significantly impact your ability to safely drive. Medications and related side effects are also an important consideration when considering driving safety. You can check how your medications may impact driving at roadwiserx.com. It is important to speak regularly with your doctor about how your symptoms are progressing and if you notice them affecting your driving. Your physician can recommend a referral to an Occupational Therapist Driver Rehab Specialist (OT DRS), who can complete a Comprehensive Driving Evaluation to determine how your specific symptoms are impacting your driving. You may find that you could benefit from adaptive modifications such as hand controls, a left foot accelerator, and/or steering wheel modifications to increase your safety, help you continue driving longer and help you live your best life.
If you found the information from Megan beneficial and/or want to learn more, join us at the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy Patient Conference on September 14th where she will provide more modification tips for driving to make your life more accessible.