4 Things You Should Know About Disabled Parking If You’re On Crutches

If you sustain an injury, your life can temporarily get a lot more difficult if you need to use crutches to get around. But there is one thing that can make walking around a bit easier: if you apply for a temporary handicap parking permit, you can get access to closer parking places so that you don’t have to walk as far when you’re out and about.

Here’s everything you need to know about disabled parking on crutches.

1. Many types of injuries that require the use of crutches can end up helping you qualify for a handicap placard.

Using crutches typically means your doctor is recommending you keep weight off of an injured leg or foot so that an injury can heal and you can get back to full mobility as quickly as possible.

There are many injuries that could require the use of crutches, including:

  • Achilles tendon ruptures
  • Broken or sprained ankles
  • Foot fractures
  • Stress fractures
  • Tibia fractures
  • Pulled or strained muscles
  • ACL injuries

Your doctor can suggest underarm crutches (which are the most commonly used crutches in the US) or forearm crutches (which have an open cuff that grips your arms while you’re using them).

Underarm crutches can be used for most injuries, but they can cause sore underarms. Sometimes doctors will suggest the forearm crutches if you have a more long-term injury that will require the use of crutches for an extended period of time. These do tend to give you more control over your movements and are easier to navigate on uneven terrain.

When you get your crutches, make sure to adjust them to your height so that you can move about more comfortably, and follow your doctor’s advice on how long to use the crutches.

Dr Handicap - physician
Image by Gustavo Fring on Pexels: Your doctor can help you determine if a temporary disability parking permit is right for you.

2. You can get a disabled parking permit if you need crutches.

Getting a handicap parking permit when you are on crutches can be a great way to take care of yourself and better support your healing. Check with your doctor to see if they think you could benefit from a handicap placard. Typically, people who require crutches apply for a temporary disability parking permit; these are generally valid for around three months (although this does depend on the state you live in).

You can easily get a permit application from your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), either in person or online. Then, have your doctor complete the medical certification portion of the application to verify that you do have a need for crutches, have limited mobility, and could benefit from access to closer parking places. You can submit your completed application to the DMV, and once approved, you should get your placard in the mail.

On the chance that your disability is a long-term one that requires the use of crutches, you can apply for a permanent permit, which typically needs to be renewed every few years. Your doctor can help you determine which type of placard is right for you.

3. It might be possible for you to drive with crutches.

It’s possible that you’re allowed to drive even if you require the use of crutches, but it’s probably not the best idea. It’s not technically illegal to drive with a broken or injured leg or foot (if it’s on your left side), but you should definitely follow your doctor’s instructions.

If they recommend you skip driving while your injury is healing, you should listen to them. Plus, you would never want to get pulled over by law enforcement or get in an accident and be fined, ticketed, or charged with a crime because you were driving in an unsafe manner because of your injury.

Even if you’re not the driver of the vehicle, you can still use your handicap parking placard as a passenger in the car, so you can still always get all of the advantages of a permit even if you’re not in the driver’s seat.

Dr Handicap - handicap parking sign
Image by IanDScofieldWriter on Pixabay: Your handicap parking permit can give you access to close parking places while you still need your crutches.

4. There are a few things to keep in mind when using your disabled parking permit.

So, can a person with crutches park in a handicapped parking space? As long as you have a valid, up-to-date handicap placard, you are permitted to park in any designated handicapped parking places (which are usually marked with blue or white paint, posted signs, and an International Symbol of Access of a wheelchair).

Handicap parking on crutches can be really useful so that you don’t have to walk as far to get to your destination. Less time walking with your crutches means you will have more energy, and you most likely won’t experience as much discomfort in your injured limb and your underarm area.

Just remember to follow all posted signs and only use your handicap placard if you’re the driver or passenger (that means no lending it out to friends or family!). If you require another temporary placard after yours has expired, renew your placard with the DMV. Then you can focus on healing your injury and getting yourself back on your feet!

Featured image by Anna Shvets on Pexels

4 Things You Should Know About Disabled Parking If You’re In A Sling

Having one of your arms in a sling can be a frustrating experience. You don’t have your full range of motion and often need to rely on others for help with day-to-day tasks. But there is one element that can be made a little bit easier.

Getting a handicap parking permit can give you access to more convenient parking places while you’re out and about. Here’s all the info you need to know about disabled parking in a sling.

1. There are many injuries that could require you to use a sling.

The use of a sling is required when a person needs to restrict movement in either one of their shoulders or arms. The sling works to immobilize the arm so that movement is minimal, allowing for injuries to mend. They’re made out of a strong fabric loop that hangs from your neck to support your arm. Your arm is bent at the elbow and rests in the sling. Some slings have a strap that also goes down your back to take the weight off of your neck; this strap is connected to the elbow side of the sling.

Slings are most often used for broken or dislocated shoulders, arms, or wrists or muscle strains or tears. There are also cases where people have operations (such as a rotator cuff surgery) and need to wear a sling for an extended period of time. There are other conditions that are a little bit more rare in terms of needing a sling (such as arthritis or stroke), but if you’ve been wondering whether getting a handicap parking permit when you have arthritis  or another medical issue is a good idea, the answer is yes! Disabled parking in an arm cast or in a sling can be really useful – even if you don’t require the sling for a long period of time.

Dr Handicap - doctor
Image by ElenaBuzmakova_Borisova on Pixabay: Your doctor can help you fill out a medical certification for your permit application.

2. You can apply for a disabled parking placard.

Most people who need to use a sling won’t be using one permanently. As soon as their doctors clear them, they can stop using one. However, in the meantime, it can be helpful for a person to apply for a handicap parking permit. There is a fairly straightforward application process that you’ll need to fill out with your physician to get your placard. Your doctor can help you complete the medical certification portion of the application that tells your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) that you could benefit from the use of a permit.

Your doctor will most likely recommend you for temporary disability parking. These placards are typically a different color than the blue permanent ones and can be used for a shorter period of time. Every state is different, but most states allow these permits to be used for around three months. They can be renewed a few times if you discover that you need to use your sling for a longer period of time. After submitting your completed application, the DMV will mail out your placard for you to use while you’re using your sling. It’s not likely that you’ll require the permanent use of a sling, but if you do, your doctor can help you request a permanent handicap parking permit.

3. There are a few things to keep in mind when driving with a sling.

The first thing to remember is that you probably shouldn’t be driving with your sling at all. It can be risky to drive with a sling because you don’t have full range of motion in your body and can’t grip the steering wheel or gears properly. You should ask yourself if you’re really capable of driving safely with your injury if you’re contemplating getting behind the wheel.

Second, always follow your doctor’s recommendations. If they say to keep your arm in a sling for four weeks, do so for that length of time and avoid driving. They’re the best judge of how capable you are to safely operate a car. While in need of a sling, ask a friend or family member to help with transportation or use the Uber or Lyft app to get a ride.

You never want to be in a position where you’re behind the wheel and are pulled over for a traffic violation or cause an accident. You can be cited if law enforcement determines that you were unable to drive safely because of your sling.

Dr Handicap - disabled parking place
Image by kmicican on Pixabay: Get access to disabled parking spaces while you have your arm in a sling.

4. You can take advantage of handicap parking with a placard.

So, can a person with a broken arm park in a handicapped parking space? As long as you have your disabled parking permit, you definitely can. With your arm in a sling and your placard in hand, you can park in any designated handicapped parking places (usually indicated by posted signs, blue paint, or the International Symbol of Access of a wheelchair).

If you don’t need a van-accessible parking place, it’s common courtesy to save these spots for other disabled individuals who need them. However, your permit does mean that you can park in any handicapped parking places as long as your placard is valid. Just be sure to still follow all posted signs and parking restrictions.

If you find yourself in need of a sling and your doctor recommends a temporary disabled parking permit, make sure to fill out an application with the DMV. Then you can use your placard for the duration of time you require the sling, giving you immediate access to more convenient parking places to help make your life a little easier.

Featured image by Achim Raschka on Wikimedia Commons

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