Driving adaptations can make an enormous difference to your independence and motoring experience. The Mobility Scheme offers hundreds of adaptations ranging from simple driving controls to hoists to lift a wheelchair user into an ordinary car. All adaptations are designed to make your driving or travelling experience as comfortable as possible and depending on which adaptations you choose, they can either help you drive, store your wheelchair, or get in and out of the car with ease. Here are some adaptations that are available in your car, just to list a few:
Do you find using standard pedals for braking or acceleration tricky? It may be easier for you to be using a hand control such as a push/pull device. This adaptations is very popular it allows you to control the speed of the car with your hands by pushing and pulling a lever to accelerate or brake. The hand controls range from the basic motorised push/pull systems to electronic or air compression systems. If you think a pull/push device may be right for you.
If you have limited mobility in your legs or find push/pull hand controls too difficult, an electronic accelerator may be the solution. There are a few different types available:
Trigger accelerator – With the trigger accelerator you pull with your finger to accelerate and push away to brake
The over ring accelerator – The over ring accelerator is fitted in front of the steering wheel. You push it down towards the steering wheel to accelerate.
The under-ring accelerator – The under-ring accelerator is fitted beneath the steering wheel. You pull it towards the steering wheel to accelerate.
Ghost ring accelerator – The ghost ring accelerator is fitted behind the steering wheel. You control the speed by using your fingers in crossing movements.
All electronic accelerators come with a hand operated brake, there a few electronic accelerators to find out which is going to benefit you in the best way and be most suitable for your needs, speak with an adaptations installer.
If you have limited mobility in your right leg and the regular accelerator is not comfortable for you to use, you may benefit from having a left foot accelerator fitted to your vehicle. This will allow you to control the speed with your left foot. There are a few different options you can have as the left foot accelerator:
The floor mounted accelerator – A floor mounted accelerator is fitted to the left of the brake so that you will be able to use your left foot to accelerate. A pedal guard is fitted over the original pedal whilst the new accelerator pedal is being used- this vehicle adaptations is very good as you can easily take the pedal guard can be easily removed if you are wishing to sell your vehicle to a car dealership.
The twin-flip accelerator – A twin- flip accelerator is a second pedal fitted to the left of the brake pedal which enables you to use your left foot to accelerate. The original pedal folds away this can still be used if another driver is using the vehicle and they don’t require adaptations .
Never driven with a left foot accelerator? It’s important that you speak to an adaptations installer as you will need to try each method before getting them done in your own vehicle.
There are many different pedal adaptations that you can do one of these is a hinged accelerator pedal, the accelerator pedal can be hinged and can be folded up when the hand control is being operated. This enables space in the footwell and eliminates the risk of the pedal being operated when the hand controls are being used. With this additional room being created it means the space to the right of the brake pedal is equal to the space on the left. This will allow you to stretch both legs to achieve a much more comfortable driving position and moves the knees away from the hand controls this is also going to stop the worry of accidently knocking the controls with your knees also. pedal extensions bring the original pedals closer and can be installed into both automatic and manual vehicles. Adjustments can be made for distance, height and desired space between pedals.
Having difficulty holding or turning the standard steering wheel? There are several simple solutions that are available to help you.
Steering balls/knobs – This is one of the most popular adaptations as they enable the driver to have full control of the steering wheel without the struggle and only using one hand. They are commonly fitted at the same time as other hand controls. When using hand controls your right hand will nearly always be on the handgrip either accelerating or braking, this leaves the left hand to use the steering ball/ knob. The steering ball/knob gives you full and safe control of the steering wheel with only using one hand. They all come in different shapes and sizes to try and use the grip in your hands as best as possible.
Steering glove – The steering glove works in the same way as the typical steering ball but if you don’t have any grip in your hand at all then the steering glove would be the perfect solution. The hand is strapped to moving part which allows you full turning of the steering wheel.
Remote control devices help make it easier to operate some of the ordinary car controls, such as the indicators, windscreen wipers, headlights and this can also be used as a steering ball as it’s a single control panel mounted on the steering wheel. They can also include a steering wheel ball so steering and operating the secondary car functions can be done all with one hand
When it comes to choosing a wheelchair accessible vehicle there are many different considerations to take into account. Drive from wheelchair vehicles are very bespoke this gives the wheelchair users a lot of independence and allows them to drive the vehicle.
There are two types of conversion that make it possible:
There is an option where you can directly drive from your wheelchair, this would be safely secured in place with wheelchair tie-downs. The second option would be that you can transfer from your wheelchair into an adapted drivers’ seat. This is called the internal transfer.
The roof stowage system can store a foldable wheelchair which allows your vehicle to stay spotless and dry on the interior. This is very helpful if you have a large family or a pushchair to fit into the boot of the vehicle. The type of system we fit is the chair topper. The chair topper is an easy and convenient wheelchair solution for storage, that lifts and loads your wheelchair safely and quickly into a specially built roof-box. The box is very convenient and will load the wheelchair into the roof box within 30 seconds. It is also weather resistant.
Adaptations could change your life considerably and give you that freedom and independence we hope that this blog has given you an insight of some of the adaptations that can be done to your vehicle.
In 4 years I have found everyone from Paul to Technicians the most helpful and obliging. Don't hang about neat and professional.
Always very friendly and helpful/ And if you do have a problem they will do their best to sort it out. Thank you.
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Thank you for fixing my car so I can get back on the road and gain freedom.
Thank you so much for all your advice, help and very professional job on adapting our car. Without your advice I would never have known to apply for a grant. You were excellent, thank again.
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If you are a disabled driver, or know a disabled driver in Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Buckinghamshire or Northamptonshire, please contact PB Conversions for a free no obligation quote to assess what products would benefit you.