Who needs aids to help turn the steering wheel?
So the first question is who actually needs help when turning the steering wheel? Arthritic drivers are the first group of people which come to mind for a number of reasons. Firstly most people who have arthritis (generally drivers seem to have rheumatoid arthritis) tend to get affected by the joint pain in parts of their body which are used the most. The fingers, wrist and hand are very commonly affected and these three areas are vital for turning the steering wheel. There are several different arthritis driving aids on the market specifically to cater to this group of people.
Multiple sclerosis affects everyone differently but drivers with multiple sclerosis tend to have decent muscle control and strength but still suffer from muscle tremors, weakness and occasional minor spasms. Having weak and shaky hands is how many people with MS are affected and therefore having aids to help keep control of the car are vital. This is the same of drivers with muscle dystrophy and some Alzheimer drivers too.
The final main category of people who need steering wheel attachments to help drive the car are paraplegics who require hand controls for driving. Hand controls require the use of one hand to compensate for the gas and brake pedals which leaves only hand to to turn the wheel. Steering with just one hand can be done for short periods of time on straight roads in easy driving conditions without too much of a problem, but clearly over a long period of time a suitable steering aid is required for the paraplegic drivers. Some paraplegics aren’t even aware that paraplegics can drive when all it takes is the right equipment and a little practice.
Are any steering wheel aids dangerous?
One question I occasionally get asked are whether steering wheel aids are dangerous. Let’s try another question “is a car dangerous?”. On one hand you have a massive several ton mechanical contraption which is powered by flammable liquids and utilizes combustion for acceleration. That sounds pretty dangerous to me. But on the other hand as long as a car, or a plane, or a lighter is used responsibly then there’s no problems. Problems occur with steering wheel aids, like cars, when people misuse them – there’s nothing inherently dangerous about the product, it’s almost always human error which causes problems with aids designed for the steering wheel.
One steering wheel aid which people ask me about is the popular steering wheel knob. Steering knobs (often referred to as spinner knobs) are considered dangerous by most states in the USA and therefore are illegal. On the other hand for the majority of disabled drivers they’re actually legal because they increase the safety of the person driving the vehicle. You can find out more on the dangers of steering knobs here and make up your own judgement.
The reason that mobility steering wheel attachments were invented was to increase the safety of the driver – not reduce it. If you have any doubts about purchasing an assistive steering aid then just imagine driving without it and why they were created and you should come to your decision pretty quickly as to whether you need one or not.
Three useful attachments for turning the steering wheel
As I mentioned above, steering knobs are incredibly effective turning aids for many different types of disabled drivers. In fact I would estimate that as much as 90% of people who want assistance in turning the steering wheel look for steering wheel knobs. It’s completely understandable too. They’re simple, effective and feature quick release functions so you can remove them very quickly. Plus you can buy them online at very cheap prices whereas the other mobility turning aids cost much more money and you need to go searching for them. You can find out more about steering knobs and see which are the best quick release steering knobs which also feature the best value for money.
One of the next most popular aids for turning the steering wheel are tri and single pin grips. I’ve featured a picture of a tri-pin grip above so that you can get a taste of what they look like. As you can see the lower two pins are designed to house the wrist of the driver which allows them to rest and help them pivot to turn the steering wheel when required. It acts as both a rest and a turning aid. The top grip is designed to allow for the driver to hold onto to provide leverage to help turn the wheel.
There are dozens of different steering wheel attachments designed to help the driver turn the wheel. All of these devices are to make turning easier and most are inexpensive and none are dangerous unless the driver him/herself is dangerous. If you’re more interested in finding out more about handicapped driving or turning the vehicle then I suggest you go to the homepage of this website or navigate via the links on this page and you can find out absolutely everything you need.