Adapting A Vehicle For Handicapped Use

If you are, or know someone who is a person with a disability then you may understand the limitations that also come with being disabled. They can be quite frustrating. However, those limitations shouldn’t impede a persons ability to own and operate their own car, truck or SUV. That’s why I would like to share some great resources that discuss some of these accessories and adaptations that can be adapted to your own vehicle to make it easier, or for some even possible to drive a vehicle, like a Freeman Grapevine Buick GMC

Here is a list of motoring accessories for disable people:

  • hand controls to operate the accelerator and brake
  • steering wheel knobs that help you turn the wheel more easily and give greater control
  • wheelchair hoists, ramps and tail lift accessories to help you get in and out of your vehicle
  • seat support, cushions and covers for more comfort
  • adapted mirrors
  • adapted safety belts, seat belts and harnesses
  • seats that rotate
  • people lifts
  • wheelchair hoists

Here are some accessories for people who have lower body disabilities

  • a steering wheel knob fitted to the rim of the steering wheel
  • automatic transmission
  • direction indicators and the horn within finger reach or as foot controls, which you can operate without letting go of the wheel
  • moving the handbrake to the right of the driver’s seat
  • joystick steering

According to some resources, if you have an artificial limb fitted below the elbow you can drive a car using a special concave limb attachment fitted over the steering wheel or the gear lever.

Even if you have lost the use of both arms, it is possible to still drive with redesigned car controls. Another option is a foot steering system.

Here are some options and adaptions to consider  if you have lost the use of one of your legs or have reduced usage in one leg :

  • an automatic transmission car, which does not require the use of a clutch
  • moving the accelerator on an automatic car to the left side of the foot brake if you have a right leg disability
  • a semi-automatic clutch, which allows you to use a manual gearbox without clutch pedals

If you have lost the use of both legs, you may consider adaptations like:

  • hand controls with an automatic transmission
  • steering assistance

If you have your vehicle modified or buy an adapted vehicle, it is important to learn how to operate the vehicle. There may be options to take training course to get comfortable with driving with these adaptations.

Just about any vehicle, new or used, can be adapted to fit the needs of most people with disabilities. If you, or someone you know owns and operates a specially designed vehicle and we’ve left out any important information above, please don’t hesitate to leave a few comments in the section below. We may have missed something and your knowledge will be much appreciated by everyone here at Freeman Grapevine and by all of our readers.