Is Driving Still an Option if I have Parkinson’s Disease?

Absolutely! Driving with Parkinson’s may still be an option!

While Parkinson’s disease can impact how we move or how quickly we respond, many clients continue driving after being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. However, it is important to partner with your doctor and driver rehabilitation specialist (DRS) to make sure you still have the skills needed to drive safely and completing annual driving evaluations with an OT DRS is one way to ensure safety and reduce risk. In addition, there may be simple solutions to overcome some challenges as a result of PD – such as adaptive equipment.

Donald returns to driving with adaptive equipment

Let’s consider Donald’s story. Donald is a retired principal. He enjoys working with people and teaching. In 2015 he was is diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and spinal stenosis. For years he lived without adaptations but recently has needed more support. He called Adaptive Mobility Services after noticing his right foot was slow to move from the gas to the brake.

Click here to listen as Donald shares about his journey with Parkinson’s disease and adaptive driving

To say I am elated would be an understatement. I am tickled pink knowing Donald has passed his medical drivers test today and is now license to drive with adaptive equipment.Donald has had an incredible journey. As a retired school principal, he spent his entire life serving others And now it’s safely returning to the drivers seat. Here’s Donald’s story. To learn more, visit us at www.adaptivemobility.comTo help others discover driving rehab, please share this post!

Posted by Adaptive Mobility Services on Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Warning Signs to Consider with Parkinson’s Disease & Driving

  • Slowed leg movement between the gas and brake pedal
  • Difficulty pressing thru the foot to hold the brake pedal
  • Slowed arm movement making it difficult to turn the steering wheel
  • Forward head posture making it hard to complete head checks
  • Driving slower than normal
  • Slowed response to hazards such as someone backing out of a parking spot or a ball bouncing into the street
  • Near misses, small dents or dings on the car may signal an increase driving risk
  • Getting lost, even in familiar areas
  • Changes in vision making it hard to see other objects or read signs

It is important to consider any impact from medication. Roadwise RX is a great way to confidential explore any impact medications may be having on driving safety.


Susie Touchinsky

Susie Touchinsky, OTR/L, SCDCM, CDRS is an occupational therapist and certified driver rehabilitation specialist offering decades of experience, knowledge, and professional support for drivers, families, caregivers, and practitioners.