How to Drive Safely in a Disability Adapted Car
Many people may think that having a disability is something that will really limit your life. However, the truth is that, if you have the necessary amendments in place, you can live a full and exciting life alongside your disability. It may seem counterintuitive to drive, but people with a wide range of disabilities can have certain adjustments made to their cars to ensure that they can travel just as well as any able-bodied person. There are also allowances that you can get, such as a disabled parking permit, that will make the experience of driving in your disability adapted car a lot easier for you.
The first step is to have an open and honest conversation with your doctor. They can give you clear advice as to whether driving will be a good move for you. They can then advise on the type of vehicle that you need and what alterations you’ll need to make, if any. You may also need to make alterations to any prosthetics or other aids that you have, including crutches, wheelchairs, or canes.
The next step is to go to a driver rehabilitation specialist, who is trained to advised disabled people on the steps they need to take to customize vehicles to their own needs. They will assess your disability and vehicle and offer practical advice on how to have the best driving experience in a disability adapted car. This may involve getting a newer and larger vehicle that can accommodate your wheelchair or other necessary equipment. If you are a wheelchair user, you may also have to install a winch or ramp that can help you get in and out of your wheelchair, and a bigger vehicle will make this much easier.
There are many amendments that can be made to create a disability adapted car, and these amendments are not limited to those in wheelchairs. If you have a hand or arm injury, you can get specialized steering or gears, or you can change to an automatic car. If you have leg or foot injuries, your pedals can be amended to accommodate this. The best thing about going to a specialist is that they will be well educated about all the customizations available and will give you the best advice possible.
Other accommodations, like a disabled parking permit, are also not only available to people in wheelchairs. Depending on your state, there is a wide variety of disabilities that are eligible for a handicap parking space. These can include, but are not limited to, vision issues, mobility issues, breathing problems, and differing forms of physical disability. Speak to your doctor and your local DMV office. They will be able to best advise you on your eligibility for these accommodations.
Accommodations for a disability adapted car can prove expensive, but there are government grants and charitable funds available to help disabled individuals to make their vehicles disability-friendly. It can be tempting to try and get this kind of work done at a cheaper price, but you truly get what you pay for in these cases. It is very important to go to a registered professional who is experienced in fitting vehicles for people with disabilities. This will pay dividends in the long run as you’ll be safer while you are on the road.
In being disabled, it can be easy to get caught up in your specific needs, but you also need to be aware of the general safety rules that you need to drive. While some of these rules may vary from state to state, there are general rules that are important to remember. When driving in a disability adapted car, be aware of other drivers on the road, drive within the speed limit, and never drive unless you are fully licensed and insured to do so. If you are in an accident, your disability will not stop you from being liable if you are at fault. It is always good to be aware of the rules of the road and to stay calm and relaxed, even in the face of stressful situations. There is nothing that you can do if someone else is driving unsafely except to remain vigilant and calm and to ensure that you drive as best you can.
While driving when disabled can seem like a daunting prospect, as long as you take advantage of all of the resources at hand, it will add so much freedom to your life. A disability will only hold you back if you let it, so get behind the wheel and be as independent as possible. Professionals are on hand to help you, a handicap parking space will be of great benefit to you, and your own knowledge and skill will keep you safe in your disability adapted car. So hit the road and don’t look back!