So you’re thinking about buying some Hand Controls..?

If you’re thinking about buying some hand controls the first thing you need to check is your budget!  Hand Controls can easily cost 350 dollars at least, for the basic versions and in these economically difficult times that can be a lot of money to people who are unable to work due to their disability.

Secondly you must ask yourself whether disability hand controls are suitable for your condition, and if so which ones do you need.  Remember there are controls which can be used for either just braking, just accelerating or for both.  Some people who are weak and can’t use one leg are still able to brake and so; in this case an acceleration stick such as by Guidosimplex would be ideal.  I could go on but essentially whether you can use one leg or none at all there are controls designed for your specific situation – the hard part is finding them in the first place.

It’s important to look at whether you have the energy levels and capabilities required to use hand controls as well, because many disabled people assume that seeing as they’re designed for handicapped people they’re going to be able start using them straight away.  Well the reality is that if you haven’t driven in years, or potentially ever, you’re going to need to practice to get back up to a standard where you can drive safely.  Now of course if they’re used properly they’re very safe, but there’s no denying that switching rapidly between the steering wheel, hand controls and signalling lights can be a difficult task for the most experienced disabled drivers out there.

Safety is, and should always be your first priority and if it means that you have to spend more money on buying handicap hand controls such as from the more expensive brands as such Menox, Guidosimple or Viegel then you need to make a judgement call on costs against safety.

My personal recommendation is to use this help resource to find out which hand controls you think would be best for you but don’t actually purchase them at the moment.  Then post on disability forums asking people whether they think they’re right for you based on your condition.  A lot of people have been using disabled hand controls for decades and they’ll know what they’re talking about, there are great supportive communities such as from the Spinal Cord Injury project who can guide you from their own experience and knowledge.

Finally when you’re creating a budget don’t just think in terms of the items itself because there are plenty of costs which you don’t get told about.  Disabled drivers generally have to pay higher insurance because they’re seen as having a higher frequency of crashing due to their ailment.  Car tax is something you’ll have to pay and this may or may not be assisted by the Government, it’s something you’ll have to look into.  Remember that depending on whether you’re from the U.S. or the U.K. will make a substantial difference in the quantity of monetary benefits you’ll receive.  Generally the U.K. welfare system is much more generous with grants such as the Disability Living Allowance.

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