How is it Possible for Paraplegics to Drive?
The answer in a nutshell is very simple – by utilizing disabled equipment like they will do to perform many normal activities in their life.
Seeing as they are unable to use their legs means that they cannot use the pedals in the car which would render them unable to drive without the additional equipment.
Using installed hand controls they’re able to control the acceleration and brake pedals using just one hand.
This is generally combined with various other disabled driving equipment to allow firstly a safe, and secondly a relaxing driving experience.
There are many different types of hand control and you can find out more about the different manufacturers, types and technologies on this website.
There are devices and price ranges to suit all situations and although we don’t currently sell any ourselves we can provide impartial information which can help you make an informed purchasing decision.
Generally we recommend going for portable versions because they’re much cheaper and allow for easier conversion from disabled vehicle back to being able to cater for regular driving.
For the additional equipment you’ll need you can find a lot of cheaper choices on websites such as Amazon, as well as peruse through reviews – or you can visit a disabled car dealership which tends to be significantly more expensive – but perhaps bestows a greater peace of mind.
How Paraplegics Start Driving Again (or for the first time!)
Learning to drive using your hands can take some time getting used to, and there are really just a few options to go for.
Firstly there are disabled driving schools which can offer to teach you – and although they tend to do a good job they’re also very expensive and there aren’t many around, especially if you live in a more rural area.
Generally most people start learning by themselves again (this is for people who knew how to drive beforehand in most cases) and take it slowly by driving on roads they’re familiar with at times of the day where the roads aren’t busy (when they’re learning at the start).
I’ve gotten emails from plenty of people that have managed to start driving successfully within just a few days, but there are plenty of people who take much longer to get used to driving once more.
Just remember that the majority of spinal cord injury victims injuries were sustained in a car crash so it’s fully understandable that a little time is required for things to get back on track.
The Route which Most People go down
Generally people will buy a set of portable hand controls of a website such as Amazon or a medical equipment website.
These generally provide reviews and ratings which allow for a more impartial assessment than a sales assistant who’s trying to earn a commission.
- They purchase the device and have it delivered straight to their house where they follow the instruction manual and install it.
Generally they cannot do it themselves and will most likely need someone to make sure everything is taken care of for them.
After it’s successfully installed they’ll make sure they have protection against not accidentally activating the pedals with their feet (generally pedal guards) as well as a steering wheel attachment to make turning the wheel with one hand easier and quicker.
From here they’ll start learning to drive again and soon enough will get confident enough to make the long journeys they thought they’d never make independently.