For those with a disability (and their carers), transport can be a major issue. Many people with a disability find it difficult to get around, which can greatly impact their lifestyle, independence and wellbeing. Fortunately, adapted vehicles can be a terrific and life-changing solution that can make driving safe, easy, comfortable and even enjoyable for those with a wide range of disabilities.
These days, there are all kinds of fantastic adaptations that can be made to a vehicle to allow people with a wide range of disabilities and limitations to drive. So, what are a few of these adaptations that can be made and how do they work?
Hand controls – Control accelerating and braking with the use of a level as opposed to using standard pedals.
Left foot accelerator – Having a left foot accelerator installed makes it possible/easier for those that have limited mobility in their right leg to control the speed of the car.
Steering wheel ball – If you have difficulty holding or turning a steering wheel, you can have a steering wheel ball fitted that makes it much easier to control the vehicle.
Rear entrance – For those that require the use of a wheelchair, you can get wheelchair accessible vehicles with a rear entrance and the ability to secure the wheelchair in place. These are usually either with a ramp for access or a platform lift.
Finding the Right Solution
The above are a few of the basic adaptations that can be made to make it possible for people with a wide range of disabilities to drive their own car. The key is to contact a disabled vehicle specialist and to discuss with them your limitations so that the best solutions can be found. Keep in mind that you will need to learn and pass the test with an adapted vehicle and you will then only be licensed to drive this type of vehicle.
The cost of an adapted vehicle may deter some people, but it is important to be aware that there are ways to make this more affordable. You might be entitled to a vehicle tax exemption from the Government, plus the Motability Scheme can help with leasing an adapted vehicle. On top of this, you may not have to pay VAT on having a vehicle adapted to your needs or on a Motability lease (VAT relief).
Adapted vehicles can change the lives of those with disabilities by making transport simple, safe and convenient. This could help someone to enjoy more freedom and independence, make it much easier to find and hold down work and generally improve happiness and lifestyle. It is amazing that adaptions that can be made and the future looks bright when it comes to transport for the disabled community.