Driving evaluation methods for lower limb amputees
Assessment of an amputees ability to drive and need for adaptions was seen to be best performed in a simulator, assessing outcome measures of cognitive, visual and motor skill. Further, functional tests should be incorperated to evaluate performance.
Ones ability to drive can be affected by a number of factors. Amputees ability to drive must be assessed due to the safety factor involved. Although there is no method of assessment that is universally agreed upon many specific groups have defined protocols. The amputee population has no clearly defined assessment method nor standardised car modifications available.
Driving itself is a multifacited skill intergrating mental and physical abilities with many body systems involved. These skills must be performed consistantly throughout the driving experience to ensure safety is maintained.
In lower extremity disabilities the assessment must include consideration of adaptions needed on the vechile. New motor skills and new cognitive skills must be learnt as the driving method alters. Several prior studies used a simulator to complete the assessment.
Specifically, muscular coordination and movement compensations of the lower limb amputee during driving may be inaccurately assessed if done in isolation as appose to during driving simulation.
Video of an amputee driving:
Do you feel it would be easier to drive whilst missing a leg or an arm?
> From: Greve et al., Clinics 10 (2015) 638-647(Epub ahead of print). All rights reserved to Clinics. Click here for the Pubmed summary.