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Driving to Recovery after Injury: The Virtual Driver Interactive

March 18, 2016

Visual scanning. Attention. Reaction time. Multi-tasking. Listening.

These are all areas that can be problematic after a neurologic injury. They are also essential tools people need to function independently in everyday life, like while driving.

Virtual Driving

But did you know that driving itself can address all of these areas and more?

It can. And we offer an opportunity to do so in a safe, effective manner using the Virtual Driver Interactive.

The Virtual Driver Interactive provides a simulated on-the-road experience by mimicking the anatomy of a true automobile featuring a full cab design with seats, seatbelts, foot pedals, blinkers, and steering wheel. Using a high definition screen that simulates a windshield, it allows participants to “drive” in a variety of weather, road, and traffic conditions while also creating distractions and hazards that address concentration, reaction time, and other cognitive and visual skills needed when driving under pressure.

“While the Virtual Driver Interactive is a way for someone to prepare for a driver’s evaluation, it is also a great tool for those whose goal is not related to driving,” says Rebecca Peltz, Occupational Therapist at Hope Network Neuro Rehabilitation. “The simulator is a creative and effective way to work on performance skills such as motor planning and praxis, emotional regulation, and cognition.”

The simulator can also help assess the potential for someone to drive again. This is especially important to both patients and their insurance companies, because driving improves independence and community access while reducing the need for third party transportation services.

“The great thing about this piece of equipment is it provides patients with an awareness of their challenges while also giving them an opportunity to gain greater confidence as they progress through the various scenarios presented by the simulator,” says Rebecca. “The simulator can feel like a game, but the reality is that it provides individuals with the skills necessary to function safely in the real world.”

And that’s what Hope Network is here for.

For more information about the Virtual Driver Interactive, or other ways that we help patients reach maximum levels of independence, call us at 855.407.7575.

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