There are people with special needs and don’t have enough upper body strength to be able to drive or pilot their vehicles. Neither do they have the dexterity to do the work of controlling a vehicle using the steering wheels. However, today there are several vehicle adaptations on the steering wheel that makes it both safer and easier for such people to their vehicles. There are numerous products made to suit drivers with different unique needs. Hence, whether you’re a driver with limited mobility or are a senior, it’s simple to find the right steering wheel aid for you to be able to get on the road quickly go for your next adventure safely. The main steering wheel aids include the following:
1. Foot Steering Control
This is a great steering wheel aid device that’s built to transfer the control of hand-operated vehicle driving functions from the hands to the feet or foot. This aid is built for those with limited movement of the upper body. It helps the driver to use their lower body or feet to safely and securely drive their vehicles.
2. Deep-Dish Steering Wheel
This is a steering wheel aid that works by bringing the steering wheel roughly 4 inches closer to the driver wheelchair. It’s often used alongside a system of a low-steering wheel. It reduces the range of motion of the steering wheel and improves accessibility to the wheel of the wheelchair.
3. Low Effort Steering Wheel
A driver with limited strength of the upper body can use the Low Effort Steering Wheel in a safe manner. It’s a conversion that reduces the amount of effort needed for steering the vehicle by roughly 40 per cent. This ensures that a driver with disabilities that only enable them to have an only limited amount of body strength on the upper body drives more easily and comfortably.
4. Horizontal Steering Column
This is a device that allows the steering wheel to be adjusted in various positions and planes. The Horizontal Steering Column is a telescoping type and motorised. This way, it’s able to adapt to a driver’s reach limitations. This aid can be positioned for the left or right-hand use.
5. Steering Column Extension
This is a steering extension that works for providing extra room for the legs as well as compensating for reduced motion range. The other way it aids the driver with special needs is by bringing the steering wheel closer to the wheelchair driver by between 2 and 6 inches.
6. One-Hand Drive Control System
This is a system made for drivers with none or limited ability to make use of the lower extremities but have enough strength in one hand arm. The knob is the main component in the system and through it, the throttle, brake and the steering wheel are activated.
7. Zero Effort Steering
This aid works to reduce the effort needed for steering the vehicle by up to 70 per cent. It’s recommended that there should be a backup system. It’s also made for vehicles that have a power steering wheel.
8. Steering Spinners
For the drivers who can only use one of their hands, a spinner knob can be great for the safe control of the steering wheel. With it, the driver remains in contact with the wheel always. The spinners come in various configurations that include knob, palm grip, amputee ring, v-grip and tri-pin among others.
These are the 8 main types of steering wheel aids that vehicle with adaptations is commonly made to have. They suit the needs of nearly every driver with special needs.
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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.