Can an Everyday Car Be Wheelchair Accessible?

There are many ways in which an everyday car can be modified to allow those confined to a wheelchair to drive. However, it is important to be aware of exactly which modifications you need and to then have those modifications made by an authorized dealer. You want to choose someone who has extensive experience selling, installing, and servicing those modifications.

Those who use wheelchairs and wish to drive a modified car may want to consult with a professional driver evaluator to ensure they get the proper modifications made to their vehicle. Because there are various interior and exterior handicap features available, it is important to install the ones that will be most appropriate for each individual.

Let’s look at some of the driving aids that can make it much easier for wheelchair users to operate their cars.

Interior Handicap Features

thumbs dodge caravan 2010 c3ed779dab10468d4d75296d7f7e7781 Can an Everyday Car Be Wheelchair Accessible?For someone who is unable to use their legs, the Digital Accelerator Ring along with a hand brake can enable them to drive with both hands on the wheel and accelerate, decelerate, and brake without the use of their legs. You can even drive with one hand on the steering wheel while the other hand rests on the hand brake, which will enable you to have control of all the major functions of the car right readily available.

If steering and operating a car with two hands is not an option, you may want to consider installing a steering knob with secondary functions. With this option, you can steer the wheel with one hand using the knob and operate other functions located on the steering wheel. You’ll be able to operate these features while you are steering as they are in reach of your fingers.

For example, you can turn on the wipers, operate turn signals, headlights, warning lights, and even roll down the windows. This option puts needed functions right at your fingertips and allows you to maintain control of your car using only one hand.

For those who may have the use of their left leg only, installing a left foot accelerator pedal may be an option. When this option is installed, the original accelerator pedal can remain in place so that when someone else drives the car, the original equipment is still there. However, if the person requiring the left accelerator pedal is the only one operating the vehicle, the original pedal can be disabled or removed altogether.

Exterior Handicap Features

thumbs dodge caravan 2006 097259b0d926e73c0b1c79897a93abc9 Can an Everyday Car Be Wheelchair Accessible?One of the biggest challenges that handicapped drivers face is getting their wheelchairs into their cars. Some cars can actually be modified so that the door behind the driver door can swivel open with the push of a button. Once it is open, a robotic arm can grab the wheelchair and stow it behind the driver’s seat. Upon arriving at their destination, the driver can push the appropriate buttons to have the wheelchair retrieved and placed in the appropriate position.

There are also other mobility aids that can then assist the driver with positioning himself in the wheelchair. For example, a swivel device can help drivers get in and out of their cars and makes transferring from and to a wheelchair easier. There are also grab bars that can be installed that can help to support your weight while you are entering or exiting the vehicle.

Once the modifications are made, you may need to be trained on how to use them. While they may seem simple enough to operate, some of the modifications may be vastly different from what you may have been used to and it is important for your safety that you are properly trained on how to use them.