When you have a disability, transportation can sometimes be a big hurdle. Besides the constant planning every time you want to travel, the whole experience of riding the bus or train can be disheartening due to the lack of infrastructure and features needed for comfort. Most ridesharing services lack the necessary vehicle modifications for disabled passengers. That’s why most people with disabilities prefer just to acquire personal cars.
That allows disabled drivers to add personal touches to their cars, which can make driving more accessible to the person depending on their disability. Also, these modifications guaranteed the driver freedom, safety, comfort, and dependable transportation tailored to their individual needs. With that said, this article will discuss the top 5 vehicle modifications disabled drivers can add to their vehicles to make them more accessible.
The Best Modifications for Drivers with Disabilities
There are many options for adapting and modifying a vehicle for a disabled driver or passenger. Each feature should allow them to get in and out of the car and operate the necessary systems efficiently.
Also, the modifications listed below should ensure the driver can use the vehicle without compromising their own safety and that of the passengers.
If you are a wheelchair user who wants more autonomy and doesn’t need a caregiver to get around the recommendation here is power transfer seats. These seats help you move the captain’s chair forward and backward. Also, the seat can roll back, allowing the wheelchair user to get seated hassle-free.
The best part is that the transfer seat is remote-controlled, so you can move the chair up or further down from the steering wheel. You can also install the chair in the front passenger seat. That allows wheelchair passengers to travel with their family or caregiver at the front.
People who have mobility issues will primarily benefit from a wheelchair lift. It helps to lift an already occupied wheelchair to the vehicle. Usually, this kind of lift comes with rails and straps that enable it to secure the wheelchair’s wheels during the lifting process. However, the owner needs a Van or full-sized SUV for this wheelchair lift.
There is also another type of wheelchair lift that is only designed to carry unoccupied chairs. This kind of lift will easily fit on the back of a sedan or mid-size SUV. But remember that it is only ideal for people who can enter and exit the vehicle via the door.
When it comes to pedal modifications, they allow the user to brake and accelerate without having to use their right foot. Instead of using the traditional pedals, the driver can use hand controls. The modifications will come in many designs, but mainly they will require you to push a lever or knob to brake or accelerate the vehicle.
The mechanical systems controlled by the hand lever are attached to the foot pedal. Usually, they will be operated by the left hand so that the right one is used for steering, shifting, and handling other car systems.
An assist strap is another worthy option for drivers with disabilities. They help the drivers with entering and exiting their vehicles. The straps are harnessed on the vehicle’s front and back door window frame.
Either the driver or the passenger can use the assist straps to climb in and out of the vehicle. However, remember that you can only use the assist straps before the driving starts. They must be detached from the frame before the driving begins.
Steering and Control Modifications
Several steering modifications can make it safer for a disabled driver to drive. The first is the steering knobs. These allow the driver to control the steering with one hand.
Also, other steering modifications are power-enhanced, requiring less force. Other modifications would include steering with a foot wheel or joystick, depending on the driver’s specific abilities and needs.
Several new advances in the automotive vehicle industry are making transportation even more accessible for drivers with disabilities. While we have listed only five modification options in this article, there are countless and often very unique modifications for disabled drivers. What matters most is the safety, comfort, accessibility, and functionality of the driver. If this article inspired you to increase accessibility to your home that's where Rosarium can help! If you are looking for home modifications for safety and comfort reach out!