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Life after a brain injury

Driving

A brain injury can leave you with problems such as:

  • trouble paying attention
  • trouble concentrating
  • eyesight (vision) problems
  • trouble making quick decisions
  • slower reaction times

Any of these problems can make it unsafe to drive.

Reporting a medical condition

If you have a medical condition that may affect your driving, you must report it to the Driver Fitness and Monitoring Branch of the Alberta Government or any Alberta Registry office. Your healthcare team will let you know if your condition should be reported. In some cases, the healthcare team may send a report for you.

When you report a disability, you must ask your doctor to fill out a Medical Examination for Motor Vehicle Operators form. If the information in the form shows that it’s unsafe for you to drive, the Alberta Registry may take away your driver’s licence or put it on a medical hold. You’ll be able to get your licence back when you’re medically ready to start driving again.

Tests before you drive again

Before you can drive again, you’ll need:

  • an eye test
  • a pre-driving assessment

Your doctor may refer you to an occupational therapist for the pre-driving assessment.

The pre-driving assessment may include:

  • a short physical exam (check-up) to make sure you are physically able to drive
  • tests to see if you need any equipment (driving aids) added to your vehicle (like a left-sided gas foot pedal)
  • testing to see how you think and problem solve
  • testing your reaction time

The Driver Fitness and Monitoring Branch will decide if you are ready to start driving, if you need driving aids, or if you should do a road test. They will also let you know if they need more information from you and your doctor before they can decide if you’re ready to drive. Your doctor will also get a report of these results.

Talk to your healthcare team if you have questions about being able to drive again.

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