Parking Your Car At The Doctor’s Office: How To Maintain Social Distance

The coronavirus pandemic is still taking its course in the US. Many areas of the country still have high infection rates; COVID-19 is causing a lot of people to get sick and death rates are still high. There is also a lot of psychological suffering being caused indirectly by the pandemic. People are suffering from stress caused by anxiety, worry, and economic woes.

Even though it is safer to stay at home whenever possible, it is still necessary for millions of Americans to visit their doctor in-person during the pandemic. Many disabled parking permit holders still have consultations they need to attend because they can only be done in-person. For this reason, it’s essential that you know how to stay safe by maintaining social distance when visiting the doctor’s office.

The COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event. The rules around staying safe are new and often subject to change. So, disabled drivers may have a lot of questions about how to stay safe when visiting their doctor for an in-person consultation during COVID-19… What is social distancing? What is the social distancing guideline for COVID-19? How can I safely travel with COVID-19 if I need to get medical care? How do you maintain social distance while visiting your doctor during covid?

We will answer all of these important questions today.

Dr Handicap - social distancing
Image by Tumisu on Pixabay: Maintain social distancing when visiting your doctor and whenever you’re out in public.

What Is Social Distancing?

“Social distancing” is a term most of us had never heard until the beginning of 2020. But now the vast majority of the humans on the planet have heard it (or their mother tongue’s variation, at least!). Social distancing is a public health measure implemented to prevent the spread of a contagious disease. It involves maintaining a set physical distance between people and reducing the amount of close contact people have with each other.

What Is The Social Distancing Guideline For COVID-19?

Social distancing is seen as being a major weapon in the fight against COVID-19. COVID is a highly contagious virus and so stopping contagion, or keeping it as low as possible, is extremely important. The social distancing guideline for COVID-19 is that people should stay at least six feet away from each other, even if neither person has any symptoms of the disease.

There are also various measures that restrict social gathering and household mixing. The specific details of these measures vary state by state.

How Can I Safely Travel With COVID-19 If I Need To Get Medical Care?

Traveling during COVID-19 is not recommended unless it is essential. Traveling to get medical care is considered essential travel. When traveling during COVID, it is crucial that you stay safe by following social distancing guidelines. If you are traveling in your own vehicle, the main danger points are getting to and leaving your vehicle, so maintain strict social distance during these times.

How To Maintain Social Distance At The Doctor’s Office

When visiting your doctor during COVID it is essential to maintain social distance. When parking your car at the doctor’s office, try to park in a space that is not surrounded by other cars. While entering and exiting your vehicle and walking to the doctor’s office, stay six feet away from other people.

Social distancing in waiting rooms is usually quite straightforward because you are only allowed to sit in certain seats that are at least six feet apart. It is important that you always wear a face mask while in the doctor’s office. Finally, wash your hands and use sanitizer after touching any surfaces in your doctor’s office or in the parking lot.

Dr Handicap - parking lot
Image by blickpixel on Pixabay: Stay socially distanced by finding a parking space that is far from other people.

How Do You Maintain Social Distance When Applying For A Disabled Parking Permit?

The best way to maintain social distance when applying for a disabled parking permit is to apply online using telemedicine. The Dr. Handicap online clinic will set up a remote telemedicine consultation between you and a licensed doctor in your state.

The doctor will examine you in order to verify your disability and suitability for a disabled parking permit. Once you have been approved for a disabled parking permit, the doctor will certify any forms needed for you to acquire access to your state’s parking program. It is a quick, easy, and socially distanced process.

Featured image by Bofu Shaw on Unsplash

4 Car Conversion Tips For Disabled Drivers

Having a physical disability absolutely does not need to prevent you from enjoying the freedom and independence that driving your own vehicle allows. The ability to get around, go where you want when you want, and to live life on your own terms, is a right and not a luxury. And in 2021, disabled drivers have fewer limitations on their freedom than ever before!

A myriad of excellent vehicle modification options now exist for disabled drivers. The world of vehicle adaptations and modifications is rich in innovation. Modern technological progress has made it possible for a raft of extremely effective new disabled vehicle adaptations to come to market over the last decade.

There is a raft of options to choose from when adapting a vehicle for use by a disabled driver. Of course, everything depends on the specific needs and requirements of the driver. Choosing what vehicle adaptations are best for you can be exciting, but also daunting. Today we’ll discuss some helpful car conversion tips for disabled drivers.

Dr Handicap - hand controls
Image by Free-Photos on Pixabay: There are lots of options when it comes to converting a car for a disabled driver.

How Do You Make A Car Handicap Accessible?

How you go about making a car handicap accessible is dependent on what the requirements of the driver will be. There are a lot of different adaptations and modifications available for disabled drivers. It is important that you understand your own needs and that you are aware of all of the options available to you.

Some disabled drivers will need only very minimal modifications, such as installation of a steering wheel knob. Other drivers will need to install full hand controls or raise the ceiling or roof of their vehicle.

What Are Modified Cars For Disabled Drivers?

You can get a modified car for disabled drivers that is specially made in the factory for use by people with disabilities. Alternatively, you can modify your own vehicle by adding adaptations and modifications once the car has left the factory. Modifications can be added to older vehicles easily and effectively.

How Can I Make My Car Wheelchair-Accessible?

There are plenty of options for making your car wheelchair-accessible. The most popular adaptations for wheelchair users are:

  • Wheelchair lifts
  • Wheelchair ramps
  • Dropped floors
  • Raised ceilings
  • Seat modifications

How Do You Go About Converting A Car For A Disabled Driver?

Some disabled drivers like to buy a vehicle that has been specially manufactured for use by disabled people. However, most disabled drivers prefer to use their own vehicle and have conversions done by professionals or to do their conversions themselves. This is usually a cheaper option.

What Vehicle Conversions Are Available For Disabled Drivers?

The most common vehicle conversions for disabled drivers are:

  • Hand controls
  • Adaptive steering devices
  • Adaptive ignition controls
  • Automatic doors
  • Pedal or seat belt extenders
  • Left-foot accelerators
  • Seat modifications
  • Wheelchair lifts and ramps
  • Raised roof
  • Dropped floor
Dr Handicap - wheelchair
Image by stevepb on Pixabay: There are lots of options for making your car wheelchair-accessible.

Top Car Conversion Tips For Disabled Drivers

1. Keep An Open Mind

When planning to get a vehicle conversion, it helps to keep an open mind. Only a decade ago, the options in this space were much more limited than they are today. You may be surprised to discover how much amazing technology is now available that can make life much easier for disabled drivers.

2. Put Safety First

Always have safety at the front of your mind when deciding what adaptations to choose for your vehicle. Ultimately, the most important element of a car conversion is that it is enjoyable, easy, and safe to use.

3. Ask The Experts

Often the best people to ask when choosing car conversions as a disabled driver are disabled driving instructors or disabled driving schools. Professionals in the disabled driving space are experts and will be up to date on the newest technology, so avail of their expertise. They will be happy to advise.

4. Shop Around

Don’t just jump in and buy the first thing that gets you excited. There are big differences in price between different garages, dealerships, and manufacturers. Do your bank balance a favor and shop around when buying disabled driver adaptations for your vehicle.

How Do You Apply For A Disabled Parking Permit?

If you’re a disabled driver and don’t already have a disabled parking permit, now’s the time to get one. The best way to apply for a disabled parking permit is to arrange a telemedicine consultation with a licensed physician through the Dr. Handicap online clinic. Dr. Handicap will arrange a video chat with a licensed physician in your state who will examine you and verify your disability.

Once your suitability for a disabled parking permit has been confirmed, the physician will certify the forms needed for you to acquire access to your state’s handicap parking program. It is a quick and simple procedure.

Featured image by Dan Gold on Unsplash

What Is A Disabled Driver Decal?

Disabled drivers in America benefit hugely from owning a disabled parking permit. A disabled parking permit is a legal document that entitles its holder to use disabled parking spaces in whatever jurisdiction they are in. Disabled parking spaces are located in every part of the US. Being able to avail of disabled parking helps to even the playing field for people with disabilities.

Disabled parking infrastructure must adhere to the Americans With Disabilities (ADA) guidelines. ADA guidelines stipulate how many disabled spaces need to exist in a given area, where these spaces need to be located, and who can use these spaces. The ADA regulations are designed to benefit the lives of disabled drivers and to help them to live independently and to get around freely.

As a disabled driver, it is helpful to know as much as possible about the disabled parking system. Knowing the details of the rules and regulations of the disabled parking program makes life easier for disabled permit holders.

There are several different types of disabled parking permit available. What type of disabled parking permit is best suited to a person’s needs will depend on several factors, such as what vehicle they drive, whether they regularly travel in more than one vehicle, what type of a disability they have, and how long their disability will last.

Dr. Handicap - Blue Handicap Parking Space
Image by paulbr on Pixabay: A disabled driver decal can be affixed to a license plate.

Are Disabled Parking Rules The Same In Every State?

The general gist of the disabled parking rules is similar in every state. This is because all states must adhere to ADA regulations. However, each jurisdiction implements their own independent disabled parking program, and some differences exist in the specific details of each state’s program.

What Types Of Disabled Parking Permit Are Available?

The most common types of disabled parking permit, which are available in the majority of states, are:

  • Permanent disabled parking permit (in the form of a placard, license plate, or decal)
  • Temporary disabled parking placard
  • Disabled Veterans license plate or decal
  • Organizational disabled parking placard

What Is A Disabled Driver Decal?

A disabled driver decal is a type of sticker that is durable and can withstand the elements. It is a version of a disabled parking permit that can be affixed to a license plate or to a vehicle that cannot hold a disabled parking placard, such as a motorcycle or boat.

Who Can Get A Disabled Driver Decal?

A disabled driver decal can be obtained by any person who qualifies for a permanent disabled parking permit. This includes people who qualify for a Disabled Veteran’s disabled license plate.

How Many Handicap Stickers Can You Get?

In most states, you can get several disabled parking decals if you need to. You can get a handicap sticker for each of the vehicles that you own.

How Does A Disabled Driver Decal Differ From Other Forms Of Disabled Parking Permit?

A disabled driver decal is a type of disabled parking permit, so it entitles its holder to all of the same benefits as any other type of disabled permit. The benefit of a decal is that it can be affixed to a license plate or to a vehicle that does not have a license plate, such as an off-road vehicle or boat. It can also be affixed to a vehicle that is not suited to displaying a disabled placard, such as a motorcycle.

Is A Handicap Sticker Valid In Every State?

A handicap sticker from any US state is also valid in every other US state. US disabled driver decals are also valid in several foreign countries, including Canada, Mexico, Japan, Australia, the EU, and Great Britain.

How Do You Get A Handicap Sticker?

You can get a handicap sticker from your local disabled parking authorities. In most jurisdictions, this will be the local Department of Motor Vehicles.

Dr Handicap - disabled parking permit
Image by gregroose on Pixabay: A disabled driver decal entitles its holder to park in any disabled parking space in America.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Disabled License Plate Decal?

The qualifying conditions for a disabled driver decal differ slightly state by state. But the main qualifying conditions are:

  • An inability to walk 200 ft without needing to stop to rest
  • An inability to walk without the aid of an assistive device or another person
  • A heart condition
  • Lung disease
  • Any condition that necessitates the use of portable oxygen
  • Legal blindness
  • An orthopedic, arthritic, or neurological condition that curtails mobility

How Do You Apply For A Disabled Driver Decal?

The easiest way to apply for a disabled driver decal is online through the Dr. Handicap online clinic. Dr. Handicap will set up a consultation with a licensed physician in your state, who will examine you to verify your condition and fill in the relevant sections of your state’s disabled permit application forms.

Featured image by Shutterbug75 on Pixabay

7 COVID Safety Tips On Cleaning A Car

We’re all trying to do our best to make it out of the COVID-19 pandemic without getting sick. Because there can be some conflicting information out there, it can feel confusing to know which steps to take to stay virus-free. One of the places where you spend a lot of time but might not think about disinfecting is your car. Here’s some information on decreasing your risk of contracting COVID, as well as COVID safety tips on cleaning a car.

How can I reduce the risk of getting COVID-19?

The virus is easily transmitted from person to person, so you should make sure you’re taking a number of precautions to decrease your chances of getting sick.

Wear a mask

The easiest way you can keep yourself and others safe is to wear a mask. At this time, some health experts have recommended that people double up on their masks for maximum protection. Always carry a mask with you whenever you’ll be outside your home; you can even stash a few extras in your car so you’ll always have one on hand.

Stay socially distanced

Stay a minimum of six feet away from anyone who doesn’t live in your household. Keep your distance when running essential errands or if you’re working outside your home.

Only interact with people who live in your household

While the pandemic is still in full force, it’s best to only come into contact with people who live in your household. That means that you should place any plans on hold of getting together with friends or non-immediate family members. If it’s a necessity for you to see these people, stay outdoors, keep your distance, and leave your masks on the entire time.

Dr Handicap - masks
Image by Mike Baumeister on Unsplash: Wear a face mask whenever you’re out in public to reduce the risk of getting COVID-19.

Limit unsafe activities like dining or being around groups of people

High-risk activities, such as gathering in groups or dining inside, should be avoided until your state has lowered their case rates and hospitalizations.

Get the vaccine as soon as possible

The vaccine is your best shot at keeping yourself safe from the virus. Check out how your specific state is handling vaccines so that you’ll have more information on when it’s your turn to get vaccinated.

How can I keep my vehicle safe?

If you’re like most Americans, you probably spend quite a bit of time in your car. Despite your best efforts to keep it clean, you’ll want to take extra precautions during this time to keep your car germ-free. Here are a few COVID safety tips on cleaning a car effectively.

1. Wear masks and use hand sanitizer

If you’re in the car with anyone else living outside your household, make sure to wear masks the entire time. You’ll also need to use hand sanitizer frequently to cut down on the germs on your hands.

2. Provide good ventilation

To minimize the spread of germs, try to have good ventilation in your vehicle with open vents and windows. Having better air circulation can be a simple way to stay safe.

3. Limit food and drink intake

If you’re traveling with other people outside your household, you’ll want to skip eating and drinking in the car since you’ll need to take your masks off to do this.

4. Wipe down touchscreens

Newer models of cars all come with touchscreens, which can be breeding grounds for germs. If possible, use voice commands so you don’t have to touch the screen or have anyone else touch it. You should also regularly clean the touchscreen (most people recommend using a cloth with a mixture of 30% water and 70% isopropyl alcohol). Don’t use any harsh chemicals that might damage the screen.

5. Clean the inside of your car with disinfectant

How should you clean and disinfect surfaces in your vehicle? Make sure to clean your car using disinfectant wipes or sprays as often as possible (at least daily if you have the time). There are some commonly touched areas that are even more important to clean, including door handles, seat belts, the parking brake, the steering wheel, the turn indicator, and the trunk lid. Giving your car a good scouring should help give you a little bit more peace of mind.

Dr Handicap - cleaning supplies
Image by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash: Use cleaning supplies to help sanitize your car as frequently as possible.

6. Get your car detailed

If you want a professional to handle the cleaning, take your car to a car wash to get detailed. Sanitizing your car with high-quality cleaning products can get rid of germs more effectively.

7. Make sure your car is in tip-top shape

Car maintenance during coronavirus is absolutely essential because you don’t want to worry about breaking down somewhere or having to enter any unsafe situations. Take your vehicle for regular maintenance (oil change, brake check, etc.) to ensure that you won’t have to make any unexpected visits to crowded repair shops or dealerships in the near future.

There are many steps you can take to make sure that you’re less likely to contract COVID. To keep your car in perfect condition, focus on upkeep and cleaning it as often as possible. This can help ensure your vehicle is clean and safe whenever you get behind the wheel.

Featured image by Hedgehog Digital on Unsplash

Alcohol & Driving: How To Make Sure You’re On The Right Side Of The Law In Every State

As a driver, it is your responsibility to make smart and safe decisions every time you get behind the wheel. You follow the rules of the road such as the speed limit, parking restrictions, and so on, so what about when it comes to alcohol and driving? There are many laws in place that you should be following anytime you imbibe alcohol (or other substances that might affect your driving abilities). Here’s a rundown of what you need to know to stay safe.

Is it illegal to drive with any alcohol in your system?

In most states, you are permitted to drive with alcohol in your system if it’s at a very low level. However, if you are acting impaired or are making poor decisions behind the wheel, you can still be penalized even if you’re under the legal limit.

Many states have Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) laws that help law enforcement and prosecutors determine whether you were unable to operate a vehicle safely because of alcohol intake. This especially comes into play if you’re involved in an accident where someone has been injured or killed.

Is drunk driving illegal in all 50 states?

At this time, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher in all 50 states. In order to avoid fines or jail time, you must have a lower BAC when you’re tested (either in the field or at a police station). At a 0.08% level, drivers are so impaired that they’re 11 times more likely to have a single-vehicle car accident than drivers with no alcohol in their system.

Dr Handicap - driving car
Image by Hannah Sutherland on Unsplash: Drunk driving laws by state can vary, so look up regulations in your home state.

Alcohol and driving: rules to know

Here’s what you should know anytime you’re going to be drinking and driving.

The nationwide legal limit

As mentioned above, the legal limit is a BAC of 0.08% or higher on a Breathalyzer or a blood test. Typically, a single drink is either one shot of liquor, a five-ounce glass of wine, or one beer (which all contain about the same amount of alcohol). A 120-pound woman can reach a 0.08% after only two drinks and a 180-pound man can reach it after only four drinks. Keep this in mind when you decide to drink before driving – you can become impaired fairly quickly.

Your specific state’s legal limit

Aside from the nationwide legal limit, there can be drunk driving laws that vary by state. These different laws can impose more regulations regarding impaired drivers. For example, Arizona has the standard 0.08% BAC limit, but drivers can also be charged with Extreme DUIs for having a BAC over 0.15% or Super Extreme for having a BAC over 0.20%. These come with much higher penalties.

Your best bet is to do some research on the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) website for your particular state. Becoming educated can help ensure that you’re never breaking the law when you get behind the wheel.

Driving restrictions when traveling to other states

If you’re going to be traveling or driving in a state other than your own, it can be helpful to look up their specific laws and regulations as well. This can help you understand what is legally permitted in that particular state before you travel there.

The consequences in your state

The consequences of drinking and driving can vary greatly depending on the state you’re driving in. Some states have more stringent laws than others. Let’s look at California, for example: a person convicted of a DUI here faces imprisonment in a county jail for anywhere from 96 hours to six months and has to pay a fine of $390–$1,000. Their license can be suspended for six months. A second DUI is even more serious, with jail for 90 days to one year, a similar fine, and a license suspension for two years. Each DUI after that gets increasingly severe punishments.

If you’ve been in an accident where someone was hurt (or even killed), the consequences are much more dire. California also has strict penalties for drivers who drive drunk with minors in the car. It’s vital to make sure that you fully understand what could happen before you get behind the wheel after drinking alcohol.

Dr Handicap - breathalyzer
Image by miguelrd68 on Pixabay: If you’re suspected of driving under the influence, police can do Breathalyzer tests on the scene.

How to tell your own limit

Alcohol can have varying effects on a person because of different metabolisms, body chemistry, weight, etc., so you should become very familiar with what your own limits are. You might feel impaired after just one drink; it’s quite possible for your reaction times to slow after this amount. Therefore, you should understand your own body and make appropriate choices to ensure the safety of yourself and everyone else on the road.

You don’t have to get behind the wheel after you’ve had a drink. Remember that getting a ride from Uber or Lyft or calling a cab can be a much smarter way to go if you’ve been drinking. Always make the safest decision so that you’re not endangering yourself or others. Know your own limits and research the laws in your state, and you’ll be able to stay safe and on the right side of the law!

Featured image by Kelsey Chance on Unsplash