Mobility is not just a convenience but a fundamental aspect of independence and quality of life. For many, the journey towards enhanced mobility begins with understanding and choosing the proper hand controls for their vehicles.
At Southern Bus & Mobility, we’re committed to guiding you through this crucial decision-making process.
What Are Hand Controls for Cars?
Hand control equipment is an innovative adaptation that enables individuals with limited or no use of their legs to drive a vehicle. These devices replace traditional foot brake and gas pedals with hand-operated controls, allowing drivers to manage acceleration, braking, and sometimes steering.
They’re a remarkable blend of engineering and ergonomics designed to provide a seamless driving experience for those with physical limitations.
Advantages of Using Hand Controls
The advantages of this type of adaptive equipment extend far beyond increasing limited mobility. They offer a renewed sense of freedom, allowing individuals to travel for work, social engagements, or leisure without relying on others.
Safety is paramount in their design, ensuring drivers control their vehicles completely. Moreover, hand controls can be customized to fit individual needs, providing comfort and ease of use.
Types of Hand Control Styles for Cars
Understanding the different types of hand controls can help you make an informed decision about what’s best for your needs.
Mechanical Hand Controls
Mechanical hand controls are directly connected to the car’s brake and accelerator mechanisms. They’re robust, reliable, and offer a straightforward push-pull operation of the gas and brake pedal.
Drivers typically use a push-pull motion to accelerate and brake. While they are cost-effective and durable, they require good upper-body strength and coordination.
Electronic Hand Controls
Electronic hand controls are the pinnacle of adaptive driving technology. They use electronic signals to operate the car’s functions and often come with customizable settings for sensitivity and responsiveness.
This type of control is ideal for drivers with limited strength or finger dexterity but comes at a higher cost and may require more frequent maintenance.
Push-Twist Hand Controls
These hand controls are a versatile and intuitive option. They usually involve pushing to brake and twisting a handle on the steering wheel to accelerate.
This type of push-pull control is often praised for its ergonomic design, which can reduce fatigue and is relatively easy to learn for new users.
How to Choose the Right Hand Controls for Your Disability
Selecting the right-hand controls is a deeply personal decision that should be based on your unique physical disabilities, driving habits, and the type of vehicle you own. Consultation with experts is crucial. They can assess your situation and recommend a system that offers maximum safety, comfort, and control. Explore options like sure grip, MPD driving controls, and MPS hand controls to understand the range of available choices.
What is the Cost of Adding Hand Controls to a Car?
The cost of installing hand controls varies based on the type of system and vehicle modifications required. While it is an investment, many users find that increased independence and mobility benefits far outweigh the initial cost. Financing options and potential funding sources like vocational rehabilitation programs can also be explored to help manage expenses.
Learning How to Use Hand Controls For Cars
Transitioning to hand control requires practice and patience. Training with a factory-trained, certified driver rehabilitation specialist specializing in adaptive driving is essential to learn how to use these driving aids. This training ensures safety and builds confidence, helping you adapt to a new way of using the steering wheel to drive smoothly.
Can a Car With Hand Controls be Driven Normally?
A car equipped with hand-control steering aids on the steering wheel can still be driven like any other vehicle. The modifications are designed to be intuitive and do not hinder the car’s performance. In many cases, hand controls can be installed to allow the vehicle to be driven with either the hand controls or the traditional pedals, ensuring flexibility for drivers of all abilities.
Will installing the hand controls affect my car’s resale value?
Installing hand control equipment may affect the resale value of your car, but it is not always the case. Some buyers may see it as a valuable addition that increases the car’s accessibility and functionality.
Others may be interested in something other than purchasing a vehicle with hand controls. The best way to determine how hand controls may impact your car’s resale value is by consulting with a mobility expert or a car dealer.
Should I know any special driving rules or regulations when using hand controls?
Hand control equipment as driving aids is subject to the same driving rules and regulations as traditional foot gas and brake pedals. However, it is essential to note that driving with hand controls may require additional documentation and certification, depending on your state or country.
It is best to consult with a mobility expert or your local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to ensure you comply with the necessary rules and regulations.
Get the Hand Controls You Need With Help From Southern Bus & Mobility
At Southern Bus & Mobility, we’re not just about providing hand control equipment; we’re about empowering lives. As an NMEDA QAP Certified dealer, we offer top-quality, safe, and reliable mobility solutions tailored to your needs. Visit us at our locations for personalized service and expert advice.
Let us be a part of your journey towards greater independence and freedom on the road.