How Disabled Motorists Can Feel Safe and Confident Behind the Wheel

When a disabled motorist is looking to get behind the wheel, whether it is for the first time or if they are returning to the road, it can be a difficult and stressful process. Like any motorist, they will need to find an automobile that is reliable, comfortable and affordable, but they may also need a number of other features to ensure that they can comfortably and safely operate the automobile.

Fortunately, vehicles for disabled drivers have come on leaps and bounds in recent times and there are many excellent cars available. Many of today’s major automobile manufacturers have developed adapted versions of their most popular cars, whilst there are also many intelligent modifications that can be made to any vehicle to make it easy to operate for disabled drivers. Here are a few of the ways that disabled motorists can feel confident getting behind the wheel:

Hand Controls

If the user struggles to use the pedals, the car can be fitted with push-pull hand controls which control the acceleration and braking. There are also electronic accelerators that can be used if the push-pull mechanism is too difficult to work – these are, typically, trigger accelerators that can be controlled simply with your finger.

Steering Aids

For those that find it difficult or impossible to turn a steering wheel, steering wheel balls/joysticks can be fitted to give the user complete control over steering with minimal movement. In many cases, automobiles are adapted to have both steering wheel balls and hand controls so that the entire process of driving is carried out by hand.

Pedal Modifications

There are many alternations that can be made to the pedals too. Left foot accelerators can be installed, the pedals can be extended to bring them closer to the user, pushed further back and numerous other alternations.


In addition to operating the vehicle, accessing it can also be challenging and particularly for wheelchair users. Companies like Allied Mobility have developed wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) that use a ramp or lift and are large enough to safely stow the wheelchair and user (if they are not driving).

Other Features

Finally, there are many secondary controls that can be made much easier. Keyless ignition systems, automatic transmission, touch-screen controls, keyless entry, gear selectors and electric handbrakes are a few of the more common features that are used in adapted vehicles.

These intelligent modifications and features that modern day cars can have ensure that disabled motorists are able to drive safely, comfortably and confidently.

~ by velofinds on September 1, 2009.

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