To start with assuming you have the hand controls which are required for driving (using the pedals with your hand) you’ll need an aid for the steering wheel.
Steering Wheel Aids
There are lots of different types which you can check out here, but this paragraph is going to give a brief oversight into why they’re needed, who needs them and what they need.
If the person operated the vehicle cannot use his/her legs which is the majority of cases it means that they only have one available hand for the steering wheel.
If you’re cruising along a straight highway or on streets which aren’t busy it may be okay, but the reality is that sometimes you simply need both hands on the wheel to turn it quickly enough.
Therefore spinner knobs or hand grips (which you can find more about on the page above) are important in allowing one hand to turn the wheel quickly enough.
Next there are people who have grasp/grip issues or weak hand strength and there are attachments which allow for the driver to control the wheel using their palm for the majority of the effort required.
Finally there are more extreme cases, I won’t list them all but amputees are a good example of this group – an amputee hook can be installed onto the wheel by several different manufacturers which allows for much safer driving.
Pedal Attachments and Controls
There are also numerous different pedal installations which can range in importance from must have to still very important!
My first example would be pedal guards for paraplegics which stop the person’s foot accidentally engaging the pedals on top… or more importantly stopped them from getting trapped underneath. I would say that these are very important and every single driver should have them installed.
Secondly there are also less important pedal equipment such as left foot gas pedals. I’m going to need you to picture a situation so bare with me here. Imagine a driver who can only use their left foot and their hands using hand controls
- With the regular pedal set up he/she can only use the left foot for braking. This isn’t very useful because it’s far less used than accelerating which requires constant effort input from the driver’s hands.
However if the right gas pedal is transferred to the left one it allows them to use their most powerful part of the body, their leg, to take the task which requires the most effort meaning the hand which controlled the acceleration is nowhere near taxed as it was before.
- This set up would simply require a brake-only hand control and a left foot gas pedal which would allow them a much easier drive.
I’ve talked to plenty of people who were only using an accelerator only driving control who found it so much easier when changing that they couldn’t believe they ever knew about the alternative.
Apart from one person who did know about the alternative but didn’t think it was worth the time and effort… he absolutely kicked himself for not having changed years ago.
Again there’s much more to pedal accessories for handicap people so it’s worth checking the page I’ve linked at the top of this paragraph to find out everything there is you need to know.
Finding the right Equipment at the Cheapest Price
Ultimately the two things which you need to do to ensure safe and comfortable driving is fit the equipment which matches up to your specific requirements at the lowest price possible.
The costs involved can be very high and I would recommend trying to buy the equipment online because you can make substantial savings.
I’ve seen firsthand that as soon as something is labeled as ‘disability equipment’ the price can shoot up dramatically, whereas there are much cheaper options available from websites used all the time.
What’s more is that on most websites you can check out and read reviews of the different possible products and look into their functionality and reliability too.
If you’re going to a shop to buy the device you don’t know beforehand how good it is and if it’s not available online there tends to be much fewer information surrounding the product.
A good example of getting a bargain would be removable hand controls kits which only cost around 300 dollars online.
You can read reviews all over the internet and find the best price, but most importantly it’s around 1/3rd of the price of its competition.
Please feel free to ask a comment or leave a question below, and if you’re interested in all aspects of driving as a disabled person then it’s worth checking out our website for all the information you need.