What is a Functional Capacity Test (FCT) Screening?

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Functional Capacity Test (FCT) screening consists of a short series of tests that measure basic visual, cognitive and physical abilities that are needed to safely operate a motor vehicle. 

While FCT screening cannot predict a safe or unsafe driving experience, poor results can be a warning flag that a person may be placing themselves, or others, at a higher risk when driving.  Evidence of decreased function does not mean that a crash is certain.  However, poor test scores are a concern and may point to a need for further evaluation by an occupational therapist / certified driver rehabilitation specialist and/or a driving skills test at the MVA. 

FCT screenings are sometime required for drivers who come to the attention of the Medical Advisory Board or the Division of Driver Wellness & Safety for whom there are concerns about physical and mental decline that can affect their ability to drive safely.

Drivers may also volunteer to take the FCT to help in evaluating their driving safety. Screening results can be shared with their health care provider to highlight issues that warrant further attention.  Poor test scores on a volunteer FCT may result in a request from MVA Driver Wellness & Safety for additional information, including a physician’s report and potential further evaluation.

FCT screenings are conducted at 10 MVA locations, listed below.  The test could take 20 to 30 minutes to complete.

The FCT has 5 different segments, and each segment measures abilities necessary for driving:

Motor Free Visual Perception Test:  This  test assesses the ability to “fill in” missing information in a scene, to identify threats and safety information while driving. 

Rapid Pace Walk:  This test assesses for lower body strength and coordination, and provides a good yardstick of whether one can sustain steady control over use of pedals. 

Trails B Test:  This two-part test assesses visual search and executive function using both letter and numbers. 

Useful Field of View (UFOV)® - This test assesses visual information processing speed with divided attention.

Cued Recall:  This tests 'working' memory, as needed to properly apply rules of the road.

 

For additional information, or to schedule an appointment, please call the Medical Advisory Board Office of the MVA at 410-424-3095.

Testing is provided at the following full service MVA branches:

  • Cumberland
  • Easton
  • Elkton
  • Frederick
  • Gaithersburg
  • Glen Burnie
  • Hagerstown
  • Waldorf
  • Beltsville
  • Salisbury

Your healthcare professional may have similar screening tools available; other options for driver assessment can be found here.

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