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Safe Driving Changes Lives

Funder: Craig H Neilsen Foundation

Funding period
USD 100 K
Funding amount
1) Title: Safe Driving Changes Lives.
2) Description: In review of the National SCI Model System Database from 2004-2006, it was reported that 36.5% of persons with SCI drove a vehicle after their injury.2 There was also a positive correlation between driving and community reintegration, quality-of-life, life satisfaction and employment. 2,3,4,5,6 The MetroHealth System (MHS) Driver Rehabilitation Program is only one of two in the state of Ohio that provides driver evaluations and training in a wheelchair accessible van for persons with SCI with a C6 and below motor level of injury (MLI). However, the most common neurological level of injury (NLI) in persons with SCI is C5 and represents 15.2% of all SCI (2016 Annual Report from the National SCI Statistical Center). Unfortunately, individuals with SCI with C5 MLI are not eligible for driver’s rehabilitation at MHS because a van with high technology control systems is unavailable. We intend to expand our current driver training program by adding a new wheelchair accessible van with high technology driver’s training capability to include persons with C5 MLI. This study will include individuals with SCI at a MLI at C5 and below who are interested in returning to driving. We will collect basic demographic information and a neurological assessment using the International Standards for the Neurological Classification of SCI in study participants. Participants’ potential for driving will be evaluated at the MHS Driver Rehabilitation Program. If they pass the evaluation and plan to complete drivers training, then a pre-driver training survey will be given. Individuals will then go on to complete 25-35 hours of drivers training and take a driving test. One month after each participant returns to driving, they will be given a post-driver training survey to assess the impact of the driver rehabilitation program on independent driving, education, employment, independence and community integration. Analysis of the pre- and post-surveys will stratify individuals by NLI and MLI to assess the impact of the MHS Driver Rehabilitation Program on change in independent living.
3) Expected Outcomes: We expect to evaluate and complete drivers training in 25 persons with SCI at the C5 and weak C6 MLI. We expect to find a positive relationship between driving and independent living including community integration, community participation, education, and employment. In addition, we expect to see MLI as having a stronger relationship with returning to driving than NLI.
4) Relevance to Neilsen Foundation mission: The MHS Driver Rehabilitation Program with the addition of a van with high technology control systems will provide individuals with SCI with a C5 and weak C6 MLI the opportunity to return to safe driving. This study will also assess the impact of driving on independent living as measured by community integration, participation, education, and employment.

(CHN: COandI chn:wdg)
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    1117 Public Health and Health Services

  • RCDC

    Assistive Technology

  • RCDC

    Injury (total) Accidents/Adverse Effects

  • RCDC

    Injury - Trauma - (Head and Spine)

  • RCDC


  • RCDC


  • RCDC


  • RCDC

    Spinal Cord Injury

  • RCDC

    Behavioral and Social Science

  • RCDC

    Clinical Research

  • RCDC


  • RCDC

    Physical Rehabilitation


    Injuries and Accidents

  • Health Research Areas