Some disabled people worry about whether it will be impossible or difficult for them to buy a car because their disability brings some complications along with it- but this doesn’t always end up being true! There are plenty of accessible vehicles out there made specifically for those living with physical limitations, as well as programs where you can get help to buy one if need be, so don’t let these worries hold you back from taking your first steps into independence by commuting via automobile.
Many people who are wheelchair-bound rely on adaptive equipment to get around. Before you purchase a vehicle, it’s best to research the market for cars that can be adapted so they will meet your needs! The company carrying out these adaptations should also be contacted before making any decisions about what kind of car would work best for you and how much this modification might cost. It may even be possible to receive financial assistance towards buying an automobile with modifications if necessary- just make sure you do all the proper legwork beforehand, or else there could be some unpleasant surprises in store when purchasing a new ride!
Adapting Your Car
There are a number of items that can be installed on your vehicle in order for driving and access to the car to be made safer. These include devices like hand-operated brake/accelerator controls, control column type accessories that make steering easier, adapted mirrors or safety belts (or both).
If you are suffering from a weakened arm, it is also possible to have your car adapted for foot operation of the horn and direction indicators. If you use an artificial arm fitted below your elbow, driving may be as easy with a specially fitted limb attachment affixed to your steering wheel. In some instances where people lose the use of both arms, cars can even be driven using only feet!
A driver with a weak leg may be able to drive cars that have an automatic or semi-automatic transmission from the driver’s seat without using pedals. A car can be adapted, by either moving the clutch pedal on its own and installing hand controls in place of foot pedals, so drivers will not need their feet or legs at all.
When you are driving an adapted car for the first time, it is important to slowly get used to how they handle. Before going on a long journey in your vehicle that was designed with wheels or hand controls instead of pedals and steering wheel; which could be difficult if not impossible depending upon mobility issues, try short drives over different surfaces like paved roads as well dirt paths. You can also make use of accessories such as boards and lifting belts when transferring from a wheelchair into your modified vehicle.
If you are a wheelchair user, be sure of how and where you will transfer from your chair into the back seat or trunk before setting off. There are many accessories available such as boards, lifting belts which may help with this process- but also consider whether they might make things more difficult if parked near other vehicles (especially those without ramps). If able to use specially adapted cars like vans and SUVs then these should open outwards, so there’s no need even getting close enough outside until ready!
For more information on adapting a car for a disabled driver, you can check Independence Automotive.