With the help of car modifications, many people with disability can safely drive and/or travel in various motor vehicles. There are many vehicle conversions in today’s market and as technologies continue to advance, they are becoming increasingly accessible.
When exploring the kind of enhancements required to make your car accessible, it is important to understand if they will impact the safety features of the vehicle, particularly how airbags operate.
Some modifications may require the movement of airbags, which can reduce the protection a passenger or driver would have. Read on to learn about some of the safety issues to consider when it comes to airbags…
Check Your Knee Airbags
Some types of hand controls can be complicated to install because the process may involve working around knee airbags to achieve the desired location. The mechanical connections of this equipment can block the release of an airbag, which could reduce the driver’s safety.
One way to keep the vehicle safe is to consider an electronic hand control, such as a brake lever, which can be fitted around the knee airbag.
By doing this, you can ensure all the safety features of the car are intact and will protect all the drivers of the vehicle.
Check Your Steering Wheel Airbags
Steering wheel airbags protect the person driving by shielding them against primarily head-on collisions. If your height, arm span or reach requires you to sit closer to the steering wheel, please remember that you will also be closer to the airbag located within the steering wheel.
The force generated by this airbag as it deploys can be dangerous to those nearest to the steering wheel.
In some cases, the steering wheel airbag could be electronically disarmed for specific drivers, then re-armed when other people are driving the vehicle, maintaining optimum safety for all drivers. Please consider the safety risks when disarming this airbag.
Can I Remove An Airbag To Fit Equipment?
Some car modifications may result in the removal of various airbags, which will heighten the chances of an injury if you are in an accident.
For instance, you need to install mechanical hand controls so you can drive your car, but the knee airbags are in the way. So, your vehicle converter suggests removing the knee airbags.
You should discuss safety concerns in detail with both your occupational therapist and vehicle converter before removing any of your car’s safety features.