Torque Tips | Vehicle modifications for disabled drivers

Vehicle modifications for disabled drivers

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- you shouldn’t have to settle for less than an unforgettable drive -

The motoring industry has been around for more than two hundred years and as you can imagine many resourceful and initiative individuals have contributed towards everything we know about vehicles today. The motoring industry is still advancing and expanding to accommodate and satisfy every single current and future driver. Unfortunately, they can only offer so much and disabled drivers still face many challenges when choosing and using a vehicle that works for them in every sense of the word. Keep reading and you might be surprised with what you learn.

Before we jump into the discussion of vehicle modifications for disabled drivers, we should mention that every single type of alteration made to your vehicle should be pre-approved and discussed thoroughly. Even though it might not be for aesthetic and performance reasons for the drivers’ pleasure but for their sole need to get to and from point A to B, but these modifications will change your vehicles original capability, performance, safety rating and much more. They should have these modifying equipment for disabled drivers applicable to their unique disability installed by trustworthy and credible professionals. This process and equipment also need to be pre-approved by a licenced and well-known licencing diving department.

Professionals advise that you need to visit the brand dealership of the exact vehicle undergoing the alteration and many of them will be able to direct you to the best options to consider in terms of type and brand equipment and professional, based on the vehicle type and model of your vehicle and budget. 

Here are some vehicle modifications are regularly done for disabled drivers:

o   Modifications for the individual to be stationed in the vehicle e.g. power wheelchair lifts raised roof systems and lowered floors of the vehicle.

o   Modifications to change the vehicles steering system to better adapt to the drivers need in terms of driving and performance to get them from and to e.g emergency backup, disconnected airbags and steering devices are needed for any handicapped drivers such as extension levers, power gear selectors, power parking brake, electronic touchpad controls.

o   Where secondary controls and integrated onto the steering wheel to ease the driving experience and allows the driver to reach and use all the controls in their vehicle, hand controls are used for controls and equipment below the steering wheel e.g. pedal extensions, reduced effort brakes and brake or acceleration systems.

o   Transfer seats are used by those in a wheelchair for wheelchair users who have a significant need to get out of the said wheelchair into and out of the driver’s seat daily and with ease.

o   These are only to name a few of a wide range of disabled driver modifications, others include suspension adjustments, tie-downs and a battery backup etc.

We personally advise that you re-think every step of the vehicle modification in terms of choosing every facet and the process with loved ones and all professionals involved. Try and get more than one route to go regarding every facet and level of the modification. This will ensure that you end up with the most affordable, safe, comfortable and relevant modified vehicle, whether this is for a loved one, for yourself or for someone you know or have in mind.

Written by: Ashley Roos

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