There are various ways that a car can be adapted and adjusted so that driving can be improved, as well as the travelling experience enhanced. Acorn Stairlifts, which can provide you with innovative disabled stairlifts to ensure you can regain your independence in the home, looks at the adjustments to think about for two particular issues…
Adaptations if you have a weakened arm
If you suffer from a weakened arm, you should look to install a steering wheel ball to the rim of your car’s steering wheel. This can grant you the opportunity to steer the car using just one hand, freeing up your other hand to operate any of the vehicle’s hand controls. Another convenient feature about steering wheel balls is that they can be fitted and then removed with ease, should more than one person drive the car.
There’s also the possibility to move the horn and direction indicators so that they are within finger reach, or alternatively switch them so that they are accessed by being foot controls in a transformation that means you won’t need to let go of the steering wheel as much while you drive. All standard car controls can even be adjusted so that they can be operated via a single control panel that’s mounted onto the steering wheel, with this changing the way you turn headlights, indicators and windscreen wipers on and off.
If you have some difficulty using your left arm, there’s the opportunity to switch the car’s handbrake so that it sits on the right-hand side of the driver’s seat too.
Adaptations if you have reduced usage of one leg
You don’t need to think that your days of driving are over if you suffer from reduced usage of one leg either. One option is to consider buying an automatic transmission vehicle, if you haven’t got one already, as this will mean you will not need use a clutch.
You could always look into fitting your set of wheels with a push/pull hand control device as well. Ideal if you find it difficult to use standard foot pedals to brake and accelerate, this feature enables you to use your hands to control the speed of your vehicle — simply push or pull a lever to achieve either acceleration or braking.
Is the reduced usage of your leg on your right side? Install a left foot accelerator to your car, which comes in two designs:
A floor-mounted accelerator. This is installed to the left of the brake pedal and means you can use your left foot to accelerate the vehicle. When a floor-mounted accelerator is being used, a pedal guard can be fitted over the car’s original accelerator pedal to prevent accidental use.
A twin-flip accelerator. This is a second pedal that is installed on the left-hand side of the brake pedal. It means that your left foot can be used to accelerate the car, with the original pedal folded safely away once it’s fitted.
Be sure to bear a semi-automatic clutch in mind when you have reduced usage of one leg too, as this adjustment grants you the opportunity to still use a manual gearbox but without the fuss of using clutch pedals.
We’ve only covered some of the adjustments you can make to your car when it comes to driving the vehicle from A to B. Be sure to check out Motability’s handy guide for details about improved stowage and access.