This page is going to clear up a few common misconceptions with regards to disabled vehicle hand controls, find out about the issues which arise most frequently below.
One of the main issues relates to the installation of hand controls, and whether they’re permanent or can be removed, as well as the different types. There are three different types of installation, firstly there are ‘portable’ hand controls which can be attached by anyone by simply following instructions. These allow for the vehicle to be driven by a non disabled driver in just a few minutes after the removal of the model.
Next there are permanent installations for disabled vehicle hand controls which are non-removable aside from a mechanic. Generally these will require varying structural alterations, ranging from just a bolts attached to the floor – or perhaps the dashboard and other parts of the vehicle being cut up.
Finally there are semi-permanent installations which allow for two different types of able bodied driving. The first type allows for quick release of the action part (for example a lever, button, acceleration wheel) which allows for regular driving. The second type allows for normal driving by either deactivating a device/hand control, or by ignoring it completely.
These semi-permanent installations are the best option for those who are sharing a car with an able bodied driver, portable versions are limited by nature.
You’ll find that the freedom for disabled drivers to drive a vehicle can make an incredible difference in the lives of disabled people.
Another significant misconception is with regards to the laws about vehicle hand controls for the disabled and this tends to encompass several different areas. Firstly people think there’s discrimination against them for being disabled, and whilst this is outlawed there’s no denying there’s some truth in this.
People also tend to think you need to attend disabled driving lessons, and whilst these are important for first time drivers you’ll find that many people can pick up their hand controls and pick up where they left of very quickly. It’s important to learn a few specific tips to starting disabled driving for your vehicle but I’ve heard several stories of people having bought and installed their device going on four hour car journeys the next day with almost no practice.
I’m not sure if I’d recommend this unless you’re very confidence, but they’re far more intuitive than people think. Just remember that as humans we have far greater control over our hands than our legs and feet, and since we use them for so many more things you’ll have a surprising level of control over your car.
A lot of people aren’t sure about why you should (or shouldn’t) purchase portable/permanent models, and although we generally think people should go for permanent (preferably semi-permanent) there are several circumstances in which portable devices will be best, so it might be worth checking out our page on the differences between permanent and portable vehicle hand controls to find out more.