Types of Driving Aids and Hand Controls

Learning how to drive with the use of hand controls can be exciting and a bit scary; but know there is a network of support and professionals to help you get on the road safely.  Driving with a disability is a little different than able bodied people and we are speaking of the less obvious things like driving aids.  Able bodied people can simply choose any vehicle they like, get behind the wheel and hit the road.  For those who are not that fortunate; their options are a little more limited in terms of what they can drive and how they will drive.

Because every disability is different, hand controls/driving aids are not a one-size fits all.  An evaluation must be performed by a Certified Driving Specialist to ensure you are capable of driving.  Here is a great video that shows that process –  Video of Driver Rehabilitation Certification Process.  For more information on the driver evaluation process and finding a professional in your area, go to the ADED website.

Types of Hand Controls:

  • Push/rock style – This control enables the driver to apply the accelerator and brakes by hand. When the upright handle is rocked rearward toward the user the accelerator is applied.

    MPS Push/Pull Hand Controls

    MPS Push/Pull Hand Controls

  • Push/right angle style – Allows the driver to push the handle upward toward the instrument panel to brake and downward at a right angle to accelerate. This method is operable for persons with limited finger dexterity.
  • Push/pull style – By pushing the lever forward on the handle the vehicle’s brakes will engage and when it is pulled backward the vehicle will accelerate. A three-post hand interface can be installed to allow the user to maintain contact with the handle giving the driver greater control. This operation model is good for persons with limited finger dexterity.
  • Push/rotate style – Push/twist hand controls are a good choice if either a large driver, a small car, or both, limit space. Economical use of space is achieved because the lever only needs to be moved to apply the brake. Throttle control is achieved by twisting the grip in the same manner as operating a motorcycle.
  • Electronically assisted hand controls – offers two types of controls. Primary controls manage gas, brakes and steering while the Secondary driving controls are designed to operate other vehicle functions.  Click here to read about electronic driving aid options.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact a mobility consultant at Ability Center; we have 11 locations to serve you in Arizona, Nevada and California.  Call 866-405-6806 or email info@abilitycenter.com

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