Having a disability converted car literally puts you on the road to independence by working with your abilities. The latest driving controls, like voice controls, joysticks, and electronic accelerators (to name a few) are designed to play to your mobility strengths while reducing physical pressure, removing obstacles and reducing anxiety.
This fantastic technology is constantly evolving for an improved and safer driving experience. What’s more, disability converted car controls can be tailored in an ever-increasing number of combinations. This makes them more flexible and better suited to each individual drivers’ needs.
Everyone’s body is unique. We each have different abilities and limitations, so our driving aids should be flexible and advanced enough to match this. Read about the latest disability converted car driving controls in this article.
Advanced controls for your disability converted car
Advanced technology has paved the way for a number of controls that cater to driving with limited arm control, such as steering, braking and acceleration. Or a combination of these.
Here are some examples:
Joysticks give you control of steering or acceleration and braking. A joystick can also enable you to work all three combined. This design is valuable for those with limited arm mobility because it relies on wrist movement for functionality. Plus, its flexible design makes it compatible for left or right hand use.
Mini steering wheel
A mini steering wheel is a small wheel that you control with a joystick handle. This reduces the amount of pressure and movement that’s needed to steer. And rather than using arm power, you use your wrist to control it. A mini steering wheel can be installed on the left or right hand side.
Watch this video that features a range of disability converted car controls, including a mini steering wheel:
Hand accelerators for disability converted cars
There are many styles of acceleration to choose from, including satellite accelerators and over ring accelerators. Both designs have built in safety mechanisms to prevent acceleration during start-up. Let’s explore these two in particular…
1. Over ring accelerators
The over ring accelerator attaches in front of the steering wheel. This design allows you to accelerate by pushing the over ring in towards the steering wheel. It’s slightly smaller than your steering wheel, so you can easily and comfortably steer with both hands on the wheel whilst pressing on any part of the over ring to accelerate.
Watch this video to see a demonstration of the over ring accelerator:
2. Satellite accelerators
Satellite accelerators fit snuggly onto your left or right hand. They come in regular and wireless variations with padding you can adjust to suit your hand for the perfect fit. You use thumb pressure against a small lever to accelerate. This design reduces shoulder fatigue and is said to be compatible with any vehicle.
Watch this video to see a demonstration of a satellite accelerator:
Voice control system
A voice control system gives you control over many of the car’s auxiliary functions. This alleviates some of the physical requirements and pressures of driving. These functions include:
- Lights (low/high beams)
- Indicators and hazards
- Windscreen washer and wipers (and speeds)
- Brake lock
- Windows (driver and passenger)
- Cruise control
A voice command system uses a specialised microphone and voice recognition software. This combination prevents the voice command system from accidentally responding to other people speaking in the car or the radio. You can program voice command in many languages.
Watch this video to see how this system works:
Foot operated steering
Foot steering controls come in various designs. Some use a forward-backward motion of your foot to control the steering of your car, while others (like the one in the video below) use a left right turning motion. The design works with your natural leg movement to reduce physical fatigue. The system is highly responsive and controlled to give you maximum control and safety whiles steering.
Watch this video to see how foot operated steering looks in action:
Accelerating and braking combination controls
There are many more options when it comes to your driving controls and newer models. Designs are being developed as we speak, so driving can only get easier!
Here are more combination controls for acceleration and braking:
- Floor mounted accelerator brake (with optional cruise control)
- Electronic radial push accelerator brake
- Power accelerator brake
- Lever accelerator brake
- Trigger accelerator brake
- Push pull accelerator brake
Find out more about driving controls for people with disability here and be sure to read our disability converted car guide. You’ll also find lots of helpful information in Total Ability’s Complete guide to driving with a disability.
Licence to drive a disability converted car
Like any driver, you need a licence to drive a disability converted car.
Also, when you upgrade your disability converted car modifications you may need to do a licence test for your upgrades. This is so you can have your licence updated to cover your new modifications. Read about driving with disability for more on learning to drive a disability converted car or getting your licence for one.
Also find out about getting your modified vehicle registration compliant with the Australian Design Rules.
Disability parking permit for your disability converted car
As a disability parking permit holder you can get as much as 25% discount when your purchase our car insurance for wheelchair accessible vehicles and disability converted vehicles. Other benefits include cover for your wheelchair or mobility scooter while it’s in your car and replacement of your car for the agreed or market value if it’s stolen or written off (terms and conditions apply).
Why not get a quote today?! At Blue Badge Insurance we understand your mobility safeguarding needs.