I contacted Sandra when I was gathering information about installing hand controls in my car. During our first phone conversation, Sandra was thorough in explaining the process, including her evaluation, equipment recommendations, driving lessons, costs, and getting approval from the DMV. She was very clear that everybody’s experience is different, and it was not possible to guess at the number of lessons that would be needed before she did her assessment and the road test. From our conversation, I felt she was very knowledgeable, transparent, and experienced. I was not at all hesitant to proceed with the process.
Since modifying my car would affect my husband who also drives the car, he and I both met with Sandra for my evaluation appointment. During that meeting, Sandra again explained the process for us and answered our questions. We then proceeded with the evaluation and the test drive.
Based on her evaluation, Sandra recommended the push/rock hand control with a spinner knob for the steering wheel. As an initial estimate, she thought we might need 3-5 road lessons to gain competence with the equipment. She installed the recommended equipment in her car, and we hit the road.
Using hand controls takes an entirely different thought process from using the foot controls. But, I got comfortable behind the wheel and we drove around for about an hour. I gained confidence with the equipment under Sandra’s guidance and coaching. By the end of that first road session, she was impressed that I managed to adapt so quickly; in her experience, that’s not commonly the outcome of the first driving session. After some discussion, she concluded that we would only need another driving lesson in her car, with my “final exam” being a drive in my own car after the hand controls were installed.
Sandra advised me that the push/rock equipment is available in mechanical and electronic versions, and thought I might appreciate the electronic version, but it was ultimately my choice. Both models work in the same way, but the lever to accelerate the car is more responsive in the electronic version; it’s easier to pull the lever than in the mechanical version.
Sandra’s test car cannot be outfitted with the electronic equipment since she needs to be able to change out the equipment for various client needs, so my driving lessons involved the use of the mechanical equipment. This means I wasn’t able to actually try the electronic equipment before deciding. I trusted Sandra’s judgement and felt confident that she wouldn’t give me a bad recommendation, so I purchased the electronic equipment, and had it installed in my car. I have absolutely no regrets that I decided to go with the electronic version.
It’s been a transition, but with Sandra’s help, I’m back in the driver’s seat, have regained some independence, and relieved my husband of some of the driving duties. Thank you, Sandra!
November 12, 2019
After having suffered a subdural hematoma earlier in the year, I was very fortunate as virtually all residual effects had quickly resolved. After being released from further care by my physicians and completed all physical, occupational and speech therapies, while I was confident of my ability to drive, I wanted to obtain confirmation by a qualified third-party.
My physical therapist felt that Sandra Wataoka of Driver Rehab Hawaii might be able to help me. Sandra provided a thorough evaluation of my medical, visual, cognitive and physical abilities to safely operate a motor vehicle. The regimen included a review of my medical history, vision testing, written test of cognitive ability and an actual driving test using a Driver Rehab Hawaii vehicle. A 4 hour period was allocated for the evaluation.
Sandra is very patient and thorough and even included as a part of the evaluation, some observations intended to improve driving skills and/or overcome some poor driving habits that had been acquired over the years.
I strongly recommend Sandra's services for anyone that might be unsure of their ability to safely operate a motor vehicle. She is also able to evaluate adaptive devices to help physically impaired individuals increase their mobility. Her stated goal for each person is to help them, within the limits of their capability, return to fully productive lives as quickly as possible. She does that very well.
Howard Y. Murai
Hi, just wanted to reach out and say “Wow,” I just completed my drivers rehab with Sandra.
Sandra was a pleasure to work with. She told me what I needed to install in my car in order to start my journey in driving with a left foot accelerator. But like anything else, if you have the drive to get back on the road and be more self reliant in getting around, then you need to call Sandra and she will give you an evaluation letting you know if you are able to drive safely on the road. If you’re like me, needing to know if you’re able to drive safely, you won’t be able to know unless you try. I’m glad I met Sandra; I no longer have to reply on friends or the handi-van to get around. But all in all, it’s up to you if you feel good behind the wheel and Sandra will help you get there.
God bless, Brian Sung