TBI Folks and Driver Rehabilitation
Are you a head injured driver? Are you a head injured person who wants to be a driver?
The beauty of rehabbing from a head injury is that from 40%-60% of the time, driver rehabilitation can lead to us driving again. The key idea is sometimes. In other words, 40-60% of head injury survivors are unable to drive again.
I am one of the fortunate survivors who reacquired a drivers licence, despite being told by doctors that I never would. It has been three decades since I reacquired my drivers license, so the novelty is almost worn off, and I can look at driving more objectively.
A number of factors pointed out by organizations that study the affects of a TBI on driving are quite accurate. Years ago, I believed that no one who had not been where I’ve been could not possibly know what I knew or understand how I felt. I’m still not sure if my head injury contributed to that line of reasoning or if my ego is solely responsible. In any case, the following observations were made either by myself or by nervous passengers.
TBI Drivers Adapt
- When parking, my depth perception is hard to depend on.
- People say I “wander” from side to side in the lane.
- I can have trouble staying focused during long drives.
- People say my reaction time is slower, but I don’t think it’s much different.
- Sometimes folks tell me I’m going too fast.
- I get lost pretty easy.
- I am easily confused, especially if I’m trying to drink coffee, eat a cookie and talk on the phone while I am driving.
- Fellow drivers used to call me an idiot, fairly frequently, but now they hardly ever do .
- It has been over 10 years since I’ve gotten a ticket; insurance companies offer me preferred rates!
Winners Don’t Quit
Unless you are a head injured person who doesn’t really care if you can drive or not, I wouldn’t give up trying to drive. However, if you have tried and are convinced that driving is not a realistic goal for you, accept it and move on to realistic goals. Driving when reality tells us we shouldn’t is a good way to kill others, or it can put us in a worse position than we’re already in. Above everything, remember to NEVER drive if you’re in a frantic hurry to get somewhere. Our nerves and muscles have absolutely slowed down.
Unless we TBI folk go slowly and carefully, we can be dangerous! Driver Rehabilitation is almost always necessary. We are not as good at driving as we once were, so we must slow down. What right do we have to be in such a hurry to get where we’re going that we keep someone else from getting where they’re going?
Al is an Inspirational Humorist and Keynote Speaker.
Contact him for your next event, he will bring humor and inspiration or diversity training to your audience.