4 Ways Your Life Could be Easier With a Disabled Parking Permit

Dr Handicap - driver

According to a recent annual report on Disabilities Statistics, just over one in ten people in the U.S. is registered as having some sort of disability. That’s quite a high number if you think about it, and it could be even higher than that, since some people with a disability may have fallen under the radar for one reason or another. If you’re able to drive but have a medical condition that makes driving challenging – and this can include having difficulty getting in and out of the car, or if you have trouble walking once you’ve parked the car – your life could be easier if you were eligible for a disabled parking permit.

Let’s look at the qualifying conditions for a disabled badge, first of all. These do vary from state to state, so it’s worth checking with your local authority, but in general there are specific types of impairment that are common across the states. These include:

  • If you need any kind of assistance with walking – for example, a walking stick, cane or crutches, or if you need the use of a wheelchair for getting from A to B;
  • If you need portable oxygen when you walk;
  • If you can’t walk a short set distance without having to rest and if you have any type of prosthetic limb.

If you suffer from any of the aforementioned disabilities then you would almost certainly qualify for a disabled parking permit. These permits are generally available in two formats: either license plates that are specially marked or a certificate that hangs in the car somewhere visible. The latter is most useful if you might want to use it in more than one car. You can even use it as a passenger in someone else’s car, thereby allowing you to park in a dedicated disabled parking spot even when you’re not driving.

Dr Handicap - handicap parking sign

So how might your life be easier with a disabled parking permit?

Firstly, disabled parking spots are larger areas than regular parking spots. The Americans with Disabilities Act states that these parking spaces must be at least 2440mm wide. So if you have trouble getting in or out of the car, or if you need to unload a wheelchair, these dedicated spaces for disabled parking will afford you the extra space you require.

The second part of the Disabilities Act pertaining to reserved spaces for disabled drivers says that convenient aisles must be available to provide an accessible route from car to building. This should make it easier for you to get to where you’re going – be it work, the store, or an appointment. This is particularly handy in extremely cold and extremely hot climates where you need to minimize the amount of time you spend outdoors.

As mentioned above, your disabled parking permit can be transportable. In other words, you’re not restricted to just using it in your own car. You might want to transfer it to your partner’s or child’s car for example, where you’re still the driver. This is allowed and will mean that you can take advantage of disabled parking spaces, whichever car you’re driving. Not only that, but you can use it in someone else’s car when you’re a passenger. This is particularly useful if you find yourself not able to drive for some reason, or if you’re going on a long journey and you don’t feel like driving. Provided your disabled badge is visible in the car when you park it, you will be able to use disabled parking spots with a car that’s not your own.

Dr Handicap - cars

If you have a disability of some sort, you might have given up the idea of driving, thinking that it’s too much of a hassle. This means that you might be totally reliant on a family member, a friend or neighbor, or possibly public transport. But if you qualify for a disabled parking permit, you can rest assured that everything will be made easier for you. The spaces are clearly marked; as already mentioned, they are bigger than normal-sized spaces; and they are conveniently located within the parking lot. A disabled parking permit therefore gives you back some independence, because you can be confident that your needs will be catered for when you arrive at the parking lot. The availability of disabled parking spots is regulated by both federal and state laws. Generally speaking, one disabled spot must be allocated for every 25 spaces available. Certain facilities may be required to have more designated spots – a health care facility, for example.

These are just four ways in which your life might be easier if you had a disabled parking permit. To find out if you would qualify for one, the simplest way is to apply online for a stress-free evaluation with one of our doctors. No need to travel anywhere for your assessment – do it from your own home, where you can be comfortable and relaxed. If you think you might qualify for a disabled parking permit, take the first step now and apply online. It could be the beginning of an easier life.