First I’ll go over that which is necessity, then what would be helpful but I wouldn’t classify as ‘required’ and then finally I’ll move onto that which is either for specific ailments/disabilities or simply for a more comfortable driving experience.
The first ‘necessary’ pieces of equipment are the steering knobs and pedal guards which almost all drivers will use. When utilizing hand controls you’ll find that having to use the steering wheel, hand control lever and turn signals (or other secondary functions) is very difficult considering you only have (hopefully) use of two hands.
By using a steering knob you can turn the steering wheel much more easily with just one hand, and although they’re actually outlawed for people who aren’t disabled because they turn the wheel too quickly (they’re often referred to as suicide wheels) but they’re perfect for handicapped use.
Next the pedal guard is also very important because it stops accidental engagement of the pedals by your legs. Usually this will consist of a floor plate bolted to the ground with a thin vertical metal plate which stops your feet from using the pedals.
Some disabled car shops will actually include these already in the price, but some will not, and it’s important to find out beforehand because although steering knobs are quite cheap the pedal guard cover can cost much more.
This is where the ‘required’ car driving equipment ends, and I’ll go into the less necessary but nevertheless useful accessories which will assist in driving.
Firstly most disabled people find that secondary car function equipment is very useful, and this allows for the remote control of functions such as turn signals, head lights and around 13 other functions. These can be a permanent or quick release installation, have a various number of buttons available (generally from 5-15) and finally have pre-set or programmable (and re programmable) capacities.
Driving using these is much easier because you can keep a hand on the steering wheel because they’re almost always placed there.
There’s various advanced steering wheel equipment which goes above and beyond the basic steering knob. These include wrist supports and various different devices which make turning easier or cater to personal requirements from a comfort perspective of what fits better in one’s hand.
When it comes to gear that people need based on more specific requirements then a good example (and there are admittedly many possibilities) is with regards to disabled pedal equipment such as a left foot gas pedal.
For people who can use their left leg than switching to be able to accelerate and not brake is a smart move because it significantly reduces the effort required of using your hands on the hand controls because you’re not needing to constantly accelerate.
It’s worth finding out about the driving equipment installations and what each category of gear entails because you don’t want to find out that the installation costs are more than the price of the actual device itself, which can happen in some cases.