This is a topic that deserves more attention as it’s not discussed enough in the public eye. You might have been born with a physical disability, or you may recently have suffered an injury that’s left you disabled. Some of you reading this may be perfectly fine, but a son or daughter has a disability and you want to know what their options are.
The good news is that having a physical disability does not necessarily stop you from driving a car. Depending on how severe the disability is, you can usually still get a driver’s license and drive around independently.
How does this work? What if you are wheelchair-bound and can’t use your legs, how are you still able to drive a car? Well, there are loads of handicap accessible driving solutions out there that mean cars can be converted to suit your specific needs. Below, we’ll go over two of the main aspects of a car that you will need to modify.
THE GENERAL DRIVING MECHANICS
Cars work by pushing pedals that help to propel the car forwards and backward. Sometimes, you have a gearstick that you need to manually move as well. If you are physically handicapped, you need to modify the driving mechanics to help you drive the car. This sometimes means that, instead of pedals, you have buttons on the steering wheel that helps you go forward and brake.
Speaking of which, you can also have lots of other controls added to the steering console to help make your life easier. You can even have steering aids built-in that help you steer if you struggle to physically turn the wheel. You’ll be amazed at how advanced these modifications can be, and how safe they make it for you while you drive.
Secondly, you will need to modify your car to make it accessible for a person with a disability. Again, the opportunities are diverse here. People with wheelchairs can get modified front seats that spin out and let you climb in them before they rotate back around. Other cars can be modified by lowering and tilting the car so it’s easier for the driver to get in.
All of these accessibility changes mean that you can get in and out of your car with minimal assistance. It can mean that someone with a physical disability is able to drive around without requiring constant help, allowing them to be more independent.
So, yes, you can still drive a car with a disability. However, you will need to make modifications to your vehicle so it’s safe for you to drive. This also throws up an interesting concept: can self-driving cars be used to help people with disabilities? They would let people get from A to B without needing to have control over the car. Or, they could act on standby, with the self-driving technology kicking in if the driver is struggling. It’s a fascinating thing to consider that might just make the concept of self-driving cars more important.
Photo Credit: Aston Martin