How To Choose The Best Driving Aids For Disabled Drivers
When you need additional support in driving your vehicle, choosing the right adaptations and controls can make the difference between maintaining your freedom and independence, or finding yourself frustrated, in pain, or unable to drive the way you want.
Choosing the right driving controls depends on a number of factors, including:
- Your specific disability
- The areas of the body affected by your disability do you need aids for hand or foot motions?
- Your strength including grip strength and overall upper body strength
- Your range of movement
- The functions you need help with
Different Types Of Hand Controls:
There are many manufacturers of hand controls, and all have their own unique takes on the technology. However, in general, most offer one of the following traditional designs to help disabled drivers gain back their independence.
- Push/pull: This configuration allows the driver to brake the vehicle by pushing on the control. Then, to accelerate, the driver will need to pull on the control, with a functionality that requires maintained pressure for sustained acceleration.
- Push/right angle: This configuration is similar to the push/pull, but the control is generally positioned horizontally instead of vertically. The driver will push on the control to apply the brakes, and then pull the control down in a 90-degree arch to accelerate.
- Push/twist: Again, not much different than the other configurations other than the motion to apply the gas. The driver will push on the control to apply the brakes, or twist the control to accelerate the vehicle.
- Push/rock: Another similar approach. With the push/rock configuration, the driver pushes on the control to brake and rocks back on the control to accelerate.
Other, more high-tech options are available as well. Ranging from steering-wheel-mounted switches to accelerator rings that sit inside the steering wheel, various companies are producing innovative solutions on a regular basis. The question then becomes how much do you want to spend on your hand controls?
How Much Does It Cost To Put Hand Controls In A Car
The cost of putting hand controls in a car varies a lot depending on what type of hand controls you choose. At the top end, digital accelerator rings can start at $12,000. Various push/pull devices cost between $1,000$6,000. Steering wheel extensions and steering wheel mounted steering balls can cost as little as $50.
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Hand Controls For Car
Bedco is an expert installer of adaptive driving controls, or car hand controls. We also specialize in various automotive mobility adaptations, such as van and scooter lifts, specialty seats, other driving aids, and tie down systems.
Our full service mobility shop in Baltimore, Maryland has decades of experience in installing and maintaining all types of mobility auto equipment. Trust the experts! If you arent sure what type of hand controls you need, or what type of wheelchair or scooter lift will fit into your van, suv, or car reach out! We will be happy to help you in finding the correct solution.
Installation of certain driving controls & aids requires training with a Driving Rehabilitation Specialist. They will provide a written recommendation of adaptive equipment. Please contact us so we can assist in coordinating that for you.
For more information, design help, or to schedule a free in-home estimate:
Sure Grip Push Rock Hand Controls
Sure Grips push/rock controls are well-known for having the easiest gas in the industry. This allows for hours of fatigue-free driving. The push/rock style makes the driving experience you have been longing for possible. Sure Grip hand control designs prevent contact with legs or knees at higher speeds. The upright handle also allows for installation in smaller vehicles or tight spaces. Controls do not impede pedal use.
Sure Grip Push Right Angle
A stationary main body has many benefits for the driver, including:
Sure Grip Push Pull
Is It Legal To Drive A Car With Hand Controls
Yes. It is absolutely legal to drive a car using hand controls. With that said, its not as simple as getting the device installed and taking it out on the road.
As mentioned earlier, the disabled driver first needs to get a prescription to take the evaluation. Then, the specialist needs to determine that the use of hand controls is necessary and that the driver is capable of safely using them.
From there, behind-the-wheel training is required before disabled drivers are legally cleared to take control of a modified vehicle. A valid drivers license and a physicians referral is required before the driver can apply for this training, which can be found through the assistance of a local bureau of motor vehicles, local driving school, or a rehabilitation specialist.
Depending on the desired hand control, the drivers disability, and level of technological difficulty, the training can range from 10-40 hours. The training will include further evaluations as well as behind-the-wheel instruction. If the instructor determines that the disabled driver can handle the hand controls effectively in all driving scenarios, they can prescribe for the hand controls to be installed. Ongoing training during the transition may be necessary.
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Vehicle Adaptations & Conversions
At In Motion Mobility, we are committed to excellence therefore the products that we offer are engineered for performance, safety and ease of use. Whether you are a driver or a passenger, we have the experience and expertise to provide you with an individually tailored technical solution.With technology improvements in mobility products to meet the changing needs of our customers and compliment the design of the evolving automotive industry, adapting your vehicle to maximize mobility and accessibility is more attainable than ever. We have extensive knowledge of the vast majority of mobility assistive products on the market to adapt any Vehicle.
What Disabilities Are Hand Controls Suited For
Hand controls can be operated by people with a wide variety of disabilities, including everything from partial paralysis to decreased motor function from neurological disorders or arthritic conditions. Hand controls are also extremely helpful for people who have paralysis in their legs or feet or who have loss of limbs with their legs or feet.
Hand controls can be mounted on either the right or left side of the vehicle, depending on what the driver needs for their specific condition. However, these types of controls are not suited for individuals who have completely lost use of their arms or hands.
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Hand Controls For Vans
By | Submitted On July 24, 2015
Hand controls are essential driving aids for the disabled drivers. They help the disabled people drive securely and comfortably.
Mechanical hand controls
There are many kinds of controls which help with the braking and acceleration functioning of the vehicle. There is a connection created between the brakes and acceleration pedals and the hand controlling unit with the help of electrical pipe/ tube. People with disability find this type of hand control beneficial as this driving aid helps them take up the driving seat and drive independently. There are various types of mechanical controls such as:
Depending on the degree of disability and functioning of the hand movements, people with disabilities can choose the right type which they find comfortable to use.
Electronic hand controls
Among various kinds of controls, one of the most popular kind are the electronic aided hand controls. The different types include car functioning switches, buttons and knobs which are used for car braking, for manipulating the speed of the car and for easy turns and twists of the steering wheel. Electronic ones are very useful for the people with high degree of disabilities and with zero or limited hand movements. These uses the latest technology available in the market and are manufactured keeping in mind all the safety guidance rules.
Different types of steering knobs
How Much Do Hand Controls Cost
Because there are different types of hand controls for cars, they do differ in price. Since theyre typically applied to vehicles that are automatic , they can range in price from $500 to $2,000. The final cost is also greatly dependent on the type of vehicle in question and the labor required to install the modifications.
There are also specific cars and vans that can be modified more easily because theyre built for disabled drivers, but these do tend to come with a pretty hefty price tag. Its also important to note that any vehicle modifications could also result in an increase in car insurance premiums, since enhancements make the car more expensive to repair and/or to replace.
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Evaluating Passengers With Disabilities
Driver rehabilitation specialists may also provide advice on compatibility and transportation safety issues for passengers with special needs. They determine the type of seating needed and the persons ability to enter and exit the vehicle. They provide advice on the purchase of modified vehicles and recommend appropriate wheelchair lifts or other equipment that would work in your vehicle.
If you have a child who requires a special type of safety seat, evaluators make sure the seat fits your child properly. They also make sure you can properly install the seat in your vehicle. The American Academy of Pediatrics or your pediatrician can provide information on the safe transportation of children with special needs. You can also visit the AAP Web site to access information about car safety seats for children with special needs.
- Does the vehicle have the cargo capacity to accommodate the equipment you require?
- Will there be enough space and cargo capacity to accommodate your family or other passengers once the vehicle is modified?
- Is there adequate parking space at home and at work for the vehicle and for loading/unloading a wheelchair?
- Is there adequate parking space to maneuver if you use a walker?
- What additional options are necessary for the safe operation of the vehicle?
Getting A License For Disabled Driving Involves Having The Proper Handicap Driving Modifications And Meeting The Test Requirements Find Out More
Disabled driving is very much a real possibility. With some special modifications to any vehicle, you can be driving very easily and safely among other drivers. Getting a driver’s license when disabled is not much different than for those who do not have a handicap.
Take a Driver’s TestEveryone who wants to obtain a driver’s license must pass both a written and a driving test. The written test can be accompanied by a driver’s education class, but this is not required. Once you have taken your written test, you receive a learner’s permit so you can practice driving until the actual road test.
Have Special ModificationsIn order to be issued a driver’s license, you must show the licensing authority you not only know the rules of the road, but that you can safely drive a car without any hindrances or obstructions. This means special steering wheel hand controls, including throttle, braking, signaling and steering, must be installed. In some states, a second set of controls should be included in the passenger seat.
Pass Road TestOnce you have shown your car has the required handicap driving modifications made to it, you can take the driving test. If you pass this test, you will be issued a driver’s license.
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Available Types Of Hand Controls
When paired with other types of adaptive driving accessories, hand controls are a critical part of a well-integrated adaptive driving system, making mobility seamless when getting into or out of a used handicap van.
At Van Products, we are proud to offer SURE GRIP hand control systems in a variety of modifications to suit the unique mobility needs of each of our customers. Rated as the leading manufacturer for hand controls and driving aids for disabled persons, SURE GRIP features hand controls that can be mounted above or below the steering column as well as to the right or left.
Take a look at some of the available modifications below.
With this operating system, the operating handle is in a vertical position. The driver eases the handle back to accelerate and pushes forward to brake. The unique rocking motion allows full-range braking and acceleration with minimal hand travel while keeping the hand in a natural position.
The Push/Right Angle design doesnt pivot or move when the accelerator is applied. The pivot point for the SURE GRIP control is on the left-hand side of the wheel, and only the handle pivots. This type of stationary main body has many benefits for the driver including:
- Increased leg room for getting in and out of the vehicle
- Full acceleration without the control hitting the drivers lap
- Greater 2-handed contact with the steering wheel due to the shortened stroke of the handle
- And More!
How Much Does It Cost To Install Hand Controls
The great thing is that hand controls work with nearly all modern vehicles with an automatic transmission. So purchasing an entirely new car shouldnt be necessary.
As for the device itself, the range is quite wide. For a basic mechanical hand control, the price should be anywhere from $500-$2,000 based on the device and any needed modifications. However, the advanced technological options can reach up to $100,000 based on the vehicle and what systems are integrated into the hand controls.
Hand controls should not be installed by the driver, and should instead be handled by a professional. Prices vary widely based on location, vehicle, device and modifications.
Other costs to consider are the prices of the evaluation and training. These costs and the cost of the equipment may be covered or partially covered by insurance.
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Why Choose Electronic Hand Controls
Some drivers have limited strength in their upper body as well as in the lower body, which can make operating mechanical hand controls difficult. In these cases, electronic systems can provide a good solution, because very little pressure or upper body strength is required to operate them.
If you arent sure which hand controls you require, our team are here to talk through your options with you. If you have never used hand controls before, we may recommend a driving assessment with an accredited assessment centre.
For further information, please contact one of our team.
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Finding A Qualified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist
Check with a rehabilitation center in your area to find a qualified driver rehabilitation specialist to perform your evaluation. Youll find rehabilitation centers for each State listed on the Web sites for the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists and the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. . These associations maintain lists of qualified driver rehabilitation specialists in areas across the United States and Canada.
What To Know About Hand Controls For Disabled Drivers
For any number of reasons, a persons ability to safely control a vehicle can deteriorate or suddenly be extinguished. However, instead of simply surrendering their drivers license, theres an alternative to operating a vehicle without putting themselves or others in danger.
Many disabled drivers today use hand controls, which allow for them to use a combination of pull and push levers to effectively drive. No longer is it necessary for people with disabilities to surrender their independence when it comes to getting around.
Here well give you more detail regarding what hand controls are and answer some of the common questions surrounding this innovative tool for enabling disabled drivers.
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Standard Features To Look For In A New Passenger Vehicle
Before purchasing a new vehicle, always sit in it first to make sure you are comfortable.
Check to see that you can enter and exit the vehicle with ease. If possible, take it out for a test drive. How well does the car fit your body? To prevent air bag-related injury, you should keep 10 inches between your breast bone and the steering wheel, which contains the drivers side air bag. At the same time, youll need to be able to easily reach the pedals while maintaining a comfortable line of sight above the adjusted steering wheel. Also, make sure the vehicle provides you with good visibility in all directions front, rear, and sides. Your dealer can demonstrate the use of adaptive features, such as adjustable foot pedals and driver seats, which can help ensure a good person-vehicle fit. Check to see if the model you are considering purchasing has good crash test results and is resistant to rollover. Visit our Ratings section or call NHTSAs Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888-327-4236 to obtain government crash test results and rollover ratings for specific makes and models.
When selecting a vehicle, look for and ask about available features designed to improve both the comfort and safety of drivers with disabilities. Some of these features are:
- High or extra-wide doors
- How long will it take to modify the vehicle?
- Can the equipment be transferred to a new vehicle in the future?
- Will existing safety features need to be modified to install the adaptive equipment?