The costs associated with modifying a vehicle vary greatly. A new vehicle modified with adaptive equipment can cost from $20,000 to $80,000. Therefore, whether you are modifying a vehicle you own or purchasing a new vehicle with adaptive equipment, it pays to investigate public and private opportunities for financial assistance. There are however programs that help pay part or all of the cost of vehicle modification, depending on the cause and nature of the disability.
Other adaptive vehicle controls include:
Car adaptations for the disabled include hand controls that are designed to correspond to the natural hand-arm movement of the driver: pull the control back, push down, or use a twist grip to accelerate, push it forward to brake. There are many hand controls available such as an easy use handbrake which is ideal if you find squeezing and pulling the handbrake lever difficult.
Left foot accelerator adaptations for automatic vehicles provide an accelerator pedal to either side of the brake pedal. The left foot accelerator consists of two hinged pedals connected by a cable or mechanical rods. They are set up in such a way as to ensure it is only possible to have one of the pedals down at any time.
Extended indicator arms for ease of use operating a vehicles turn signal.
Steering wheel spinner knobs and devices for one hand control of the steering wheel for vehicles with power steering. Sure Grip hand control users use a push/rock style of driving with products specifically designed to give drivers the benefit of controlling a vehicle with both hands on the wheel for a safer, smoother driving experience.
Swivel Seats - Among other advantages, swivel transfer seats provide drivers with disabilities the ability to easily transfer from their wheelchair in the center section of a van to the driver position. The swivel seat base is usually electronically controlled using actuators and gears that slide the seat backward and forward, and there are swivel up and down controls.
Turny/Turny Orbit - This revolutionary system for higher vehicles provides easy access to an automotive seat. The seat rotates, comes out of the vehicle, and lowers toward the ground, eliminating the climbing and twisting normally required to enter a higher vehicle.
Reduced effort braking systems, gas or brake pedal extensions and many other adaptive vehicle solutions for drivers with restricted capabilities or prosthetics.
Portable hand controls are available for the paraplegic or amputee with a need for a car or van hand control that can be conveniently carried as luggage. Portable hand controls install in an automatic transmission vehicle in minutes. These hand controls are designed for use by individuals with normal upper body strength and coordination. Hand motions are pull to accelerate, push to brake. As with all hand controls, power brakes and steering are a must.
One option available for some drivers is to install electronically assisted hand controls. This technology has revolutionized how people in wheelchairs approach driving. EMC offers two types of controls. Primary Controls manage gas, brakes, and steering while the Secondary Driving Controls manufactured by EMC are designed to operate vehicle functions other than Gas, Brake and Steering.
Transporting a Wheelchair
If you use a wheelchair then it's likely that you'll need to store the chair while you're driving so you can use it at your destination. Modifications which could make the process easier including installing a ramp to the rear of the car to make loading the wheelchair into the rear space much easier.
Other alternatives include rear hoists which can lift wheelchairs into the back of most cars and will give you more independence as you may not need others to help lift the chair with you. If space in the rear of your car is limited you could decide to have a rooftop hoist and storage solution installed. These gadgets mechanically lift a manual wheelchair up from ground level and securely store it in a storage rack unit on top of your car. When you get to your destination your wheelchair can simply be lowered again at the touch of a button.
Pedal extensions help the person with short legs to reach the pedals. In this kind of arrangement, the brakes and accelerator pedal height are raised. The pedal extension enables the driver to apply the brakes with reduced effort. A left foot gas pedal requires professional installation in which modifications are done for the braking and acceleration systems. For a missing leg, the left foot gas pedal is used as it prevents crossovers. In left foot gas pedal adaption, the pedal is provided on both sides of the brakes.
1 : Car Dealerships to Provide Hand Controls for Test Drives for Individuals With Disabilities - U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, rules individuals who use hand controls to operate cars and trucks have equal right to test drive vehicles before purchasing them.
5 : Peddle Master - Easy to Use Portable Hand Controls for Your Car - Peddle Master hand controls are a versatile cheaper and portable product for adaptive driving for persons with disabilities and limited mobility.