New driving simulator aims to boost safety

Sep 20, 2013

IPMR occupational therapist Sara Stomberg stands in front of the new driving simulator machine.
Credit Alex Rusciano/Peoria Public Radio
The region has a new driving simulator to help those who need evaluations on the road.  The $20,000 machine is at the Institute of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, or IPMR.  Sara Stomberg is an occupational therapist with IPMR.  She says the goal of the simulator is to boost safety on the road before patients get behind the wheel:

 “Because there’s some people who are out there who may not be appropriate for driving, and we want to make sure they’re safe, and if they’re not safe, they can be referred to physical therapy, occupational therapy in their deficit areas, and be retested.  And maybe we can regain their independence if they did lose their license at some point,” Stomberg says.

 The simulator was paid for with a donation from the Peoria Independent Insurance Agents Association.  Stomberg says patients at IPMR can start using the machine next month.  She says older adults with memory loss or drivers with disabilities who need special equipment could benefit from the simulator.  The machine has 200 driving scenarios and 39 lessons to help evaluate driving abilit