You might have seen this video posted on the BBC Web site recently about Invacar’s early disability vehicles. These had very basic controls, similar to a motorbike, with clutch, accelerator and brake all hand-controlled.
This got us thinking as to how things had changed so dramatically in this area over the last 50 years. Now, the options for converting cars for disabled people are many and can even be carried out to exotic brands like Ferrari.
Sophisticated driving aids for the disabled
Sophisticated driving aids can now be fitted to virtually any vehicle, including:
- Push/pull brake/accelerator – for those unable to operate the foot pedals. This allows you to utilise the brake and accelerator by hand using a single push/pull lever.
- Integral indicator switch – built into the brake/accelerator control, so that you can indicate with the same hand that is accelerating/braking
- Ball/peg/tetra grip – aids attached to the steering wheel to give a better grip. The ball is the most commonly used and is grasped from the front, whilst the peg is grasped from the side and the tetra is for those with a weaker grip.
- Hinged accelerator pedal – allows the accelerator pedal to be folded up out of the way, giving more room for your right leg. Ideal if you have a prosthetic or fused right leg.
- Pedal guard – provides protection for accidental pressing of the brake and/or accelerator. Can be removed if necessary.
These types of controls are so flexible that they allow the vehicle to be driven by anybody and can be removed when the vehicle is sold, helping to maintain its resale value.
If you would like to find out more about getting your car adapted for hand controls, our staff can recommend Jeff Gosling Hand Controls, having used them ourselves many times over the years.