Driving after a suffering a stroke
NEW YORK (WABC) -- Surviving a stroke is hard enough, but getting back behind the wheel is harder still. Which patients are capable? A new study looked at some predictive tests.
Miriam Babad's changed walking is the result of a stroke a dozen years ago. She's behind the wheel now, but that was not the case right after her stroke."I needed someone to do all of my errands, and all of my goings and comings. I needed someone to take me, but even to get to the railroad you need a car," said Babad.
To make sure she could drive again, Babad underwent some tests. The study found those tests best predicted who could pass an on-road exam. One checked hand-eye coordination and thinking with alternating dots. Another tested spotting things out of place, such as an arrow pointing right when traffic obviously has to go left. After suffering a stroke a patient may not be aware that they might have problem coordination their hands on the wheel, their eyes on the road and their feet on the pedals. To detect those problems, researchers used a driving simulator. The study found it was the most predictive of real world success. It can show within a split second how accurate are someone's reflexes and mind-muscle coordination. "I look for them performing within a range that makes them look like other drivers, then that suggests they have the ability to drive," said Dr. Rosamond Gianutsos. Reporting that someone may be driving impaired is mandatory only in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Dr. Gianutsos recommends that doctors and therapists should voluntarily send stroke survivors for testing. Patients with Alzheimer's disease or dementia can also be tested. Special glasses helped Babad's slightly impaired vision. After passing the road tests, and brushing up on the road with a driving instructor, she returned to the road. "Unless you're willing to walk a half a mile to a bus, you're stuck. It lets me live like a regular person. Thank God, as you see, we haven't gotten into any accidents," she said.
health alert, driving, stroke, health news, dr. jay adlersberg
- At least 2 dead, 64 hurt in East Harlem explosion 2 min ago
- AccuWeather: Weather Whiplash 6 min ago
- Live: Eyewitness News on 7online streamed live!
- Get WATCH ABC for your mobile device
- Photos: East Harlem explosion 10 min ago
- Video: 2 men describe pulling child out of rubble
- Survivors describe explosion in East Harlem 20 min ago
- Before East Harlem Explosion, resident remembers gas smell 22 min ago
- Video: East Harlem Explosion on social media 40 min ago
- Video: Dozens injured in East Harlem explosion 32 min ago
- Video: Damages throught neighborhood after East... 32 min ago
- raw video: Viewer video from East Harlem explosion site
- Metro-North service restored after East Harlem explosion 27 min ago
- Surveillance in Upper Manhattan attempted rape
- AccuWeather: Weather Whiplash
6 min ago