Mechanical Car Hand Controls
Primary hand controls, such as the Classic 3500 series from Mobility Products Design, uses a forward pushing motion to operate the brake and a downward pulling motion to operate the gas. This is considered a right angle hand control.
As the name implies, the Push/Pull control pushes forward to apply the brake and pulls back to apply the gas. The Twist Grip control operates the gas much like a motorcycle grip by twisting the handle. As with the other hand controls, braking is accomplished by pushing forward. The user can operate both pedals with one hand while managing the steering wheel with the other.
To maintain total control of the wheel during turns, a steering device such as a Spinner Knob is attached to the steering wheel allowing the driver to make full turns without ever letting go of the wheel.
What can car hand controls do for you?
You don’t let your wheelchair limit your independence or enjoyment of life. So why let it limit your ability to drive? With car hand controls, you don’t have to.
Driving again opens up a world of possibilities. It means running errands by yourself. Going out on a whim. And it reduces your reliance on (and the number of times you have to call on) others.
The ability to drive changes everything for the better.
How Do Hand Controls Help You Drive?
Car hand controls can be installed in most vehicles. Your vehicle becomes operable with easily reached levers, knobs, handles and other controls. Acceleration and braking no longer require use of floor pedals. Secondary accessible controls work other systems. Everything you need is in reach from behind the wheel in your wheelchair. These take care of things like using the front and rear defrost, windshield wipers, heating and air conditioning, the horn, the radio and other functions.
There are extras beyond the basic controls, too. These include key extensions, pedal extensions and in some cases, steering column extensions. Higher-tech car hand controls are also available. Requiring less exertion, they can accommodate numerous disabilities. Even some stroke patients can use these tools to operate a vehicle. Configurations for the unaffected side of the body are possible.
Are Your Eligible for Hand Controls?
There are a number of safety concerns for disabled drivers. Decisions to approve and to use these controls cannot be made lightly. Professionals known as Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialists, or CDRSs, make determinations about eligibility. They can answer questions about whether you qualify for hand controls. They prescribe appropriate controls based on individual factors.
If you are eligible, you may purchase or lease a vehicle, then get car hand controls installed by a reputable dealer. You can almost always have them installed in your current vehicle, too. They can be removed when you decide to sell or trade in. In most instances, you’ll be able to move the hardware to your new vehicle.