driving aids installed in vehicle

Benefits of Driving Aids for Disabled Drivers

Whether you're a newcomer to driving or riding in wheelchair-accessible vans, a seasoned mobility van user with changing needs, or simply looking for a more accessible driving experience, there are a variety of inventive and innovative solutions tailored to different mobility requirements. United Access is dedicated to helping individuals achieve greater independence and mobility.

A key component that enhances our vehicles' functionality is adaptive driving controls. These are essential for creating a more accessible driving experience. Electronic driving controls, for example, help those with limited upper body mobility. These controls relocate essential vehicle functions—such as gear selection, ignition, and even headlights and wipers—to a more accessible, centralized location that matches your physical capabilities.

For those with different steering needs, we offer various options. From foot steering controls for drivers unable to use their hands to enhanced systems like spinner knobs and steering column extensions, we provide solutions that cater to a range of requirements. Low—or zero—effort assisted power steering can also help those who need to reduce the physical effort required to steer, enabling longer and more comfortable drives.

For individuals with limited lower extremity use, hand-operated systems for braking and acceleration can be a game-changer. These systems allow you to manage essential driving functions with your hands. Additionally, adaptations can be made for left-foot acceleration, and guards can be installed to prevent accidental engagement of pedals when using hand controls.

Driving Aid Benefits

  • Enhanced Independence: Adaptive driving controls allow individuals with physical limitations to drive independently, reducing reliance on caregivers or public transportation. Whether you need electronic hand controls or foot steering, these systems enable you to take control of your travel plans and live life on your terms.
  • Customized Solutions: No two drivers are the same, and neither are their needs. At United Access, we provide customized driving controls that are tailored to your specific mobility requirements. From personalized hand-operated systems for braking and accelerating to specialized steering aids, we ensure that your vehicle adapts perfectly to you.
  • Increased Safety: Safety is paramount when it comes to driving, and adaptive controls are designed with this in mind. Enhanced ergonomics and accessibility reduce the risk of accidents and fatigue. For example, low—or zero—effort assisted power steering and centrally located controls for essential functions like gear selection and headlights ensure you can drive longer distances comfortably and safely.
  • Comfort and Convenience: Adaptive driving controls are not just functional; they are also designed to make your driving experience as comfortable and convenient as possible. Adjustable spinner knobs, steering column extensions, and left-foot acceleration can significantly enhance the driving experience, making it effortless and enjoyable.
  • Versatility and Flexibility: Our adaptive controls offer unparalleled flexibility. Whether your needs are temporary or permanent, and whether they involve upper or lower extremity modifications, we have a solution for you. Hand controls for manual transmissions, electronic controls for limited upper body mobility, and foot-operated systems ensure there's a versatile option for every driver.
  • Confidence on the Road: With adaptive driving controls, confidence comes naturally. Knowing that your vehicle is precisely attuned to your physical capabilities allows you to focus on the road ahead. This peace of mind can transform your driving experience, making it more enjoyable and less stressful.
  • Stay Active and Engaged: Driving is more than just transportation; it's about staying active and engaged with your community. Adaptive controls enable you to participate in social activities, maintain employment, and enjoy recreational pursuits, leading to an enhanced quality of life.

Getting Started with Driving Aids

United Access provides a wide selection of steering aids, controls, equipment, and wheelchair van accessories designed for disabled drivers. Ensuring that you receive the right driving aids starts with a comprehensive evaluation by a Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist (CDRS). This professional assessment is vital to confirm both your physical and cognitive ability to operate a motor vehicle safely.

A typical driving evaluation consists of two main components: a clinical assessment and an on-the-road assessment. To participate in the on-the-road portion, you must meet certain requirements including being at least 16 years old, holding a valid driver’s license or temporary permit, and being seizure-free for at least one year or have a release from a medical physician.

Over the years, United Access has built strong relationships with CDRSs across all our market areas. These specialists play a crucial role in evaluating the safety of potential drivers, not just for their benefit but for the safety of everyone on the road. If you’re interested in becoming a driver, United Access can connect you with a Driver Evaluator in your local area to get started on your journey towards independence.

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