Besides the obvious practical advantages of maintaining independence, driving can often have a positive effect on confidence and enjoyment. If you are eligible for a disability allowance, the Motability scheme offers many different vehicle adaptations for both access and driving needs to support drivers and families.
Here are some of the most common.
To help access, swivel seats can be useful on suitable vehicles. A swivel seat rotates the front car seats towards the door making access in and out easier. Inevitably, manual swivel seats are less expensive than automatic ones, but need someone to be able to operate them.
Similarly, transfer plates are car seat extensions that makes car seats wider by folding out (and back, once you’re in), enabling easier movement from wheelchair or mobility scooter to the seat. Again, transfer plates can be manual or automatic, or operated by remote control.
Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles can be fitted with folding wheelchair ramps (manual or automatic) or lifts with rear or side entry.
Once inside the vehicle, various adaptations are available. Automatic gearboxes are usually a standard option and remove the need for gearlever operation, while a steering ball helps with controlling the steering wheel while leaving the other hand free for additional hand controls.
A push-pull accelerator/brake hand control lever next to the steering wheel is helpful as it removes the need for foot pedals. Alternatively, acceleration systems can be fitted to the steering wheel – also, a push-pull process, the ring accelerator attachment can easily be removed if required.
Pedal adaptations such as pedal extensions can also be helpful for easier access to the accelerator and brake pedals. There is also the option to fit a left-foot accelerator so you can brake and accelerate with one foot if movement in your right leg is an issue. Some pedal systems also allow you to flip between a left and right accelerator so it can be operated as a regular car.
A wheelchair accessible vehicle provider can offer conversions ideally suited to customers’ individual requirements.
With over 20 years’ experience producing and selling wheelchair accessible vehicles in the UK, you can be sure that we can offer excellent customer service with a level of knowledge that is completely unrivalled.