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What You Need To Know As A Disabled Driver

Anyone who suffers from a disability hindering one’s ability to drive can understand the struggle of being mobile in this day and age. We live in a world with what seems to have an automated everything. It feels like almost any task a person can do themselves today can also be done with some sort of newfangled gadget. Although there are various new developments in the technological field that come across as frivolous, much of this new technology has been proven to enhance the lives of those who may require assistance. In specific, there have been many new enriching stories that have been released explaining how technology has significantly increased various disabled drivers’ quality of life. A direct result of these assistive inventions is that now more than ever, the roads are becoming more user friendly for disabled drivers. The U.S. Department of Transportation is acknowledging the fact that disabled drivers are on the roads as well, serving as active members of our society. The U.S. Department of Transportation also elaborates on the safety of disabled drivers. What do you need to know as a disabled driver to stay safe on the road?

Adapted Automobiles

An automobile can be legally adapted in order for people of all physical conditions to drive on the roads. Various installations can occur; including “foot pedals can be raised, or replaced with hand-controlled devices. Automotive adaptive hand controls also make it possible to adjust acceleration as well braking” [1]. In the realm of adaptive automotive products, there are two categories of devices. The first genre includes “those that provide an external source of power to actuate existing vehicle controls” [1]. The second includes “those that modify OEM components to alter the operation of vehicle control systems”, assisting the driver in reducing the amount of effort needed to use a control system [1]. Other exclusive devices include “Swivel Seats” and the “Turny/Turny Orbit” [1]. The “Swivel Seat” is a seat that aids the driver “easily transfer from their wheelchair in the center section of a van to the driver position” [1]. The “Turny/Turny Orbit” is a seat that “rotates, comes out of the vehicle, and lowers toward the ground, eliminating the climbing and twisting normally required to enter a higher vehicle” [1]. As a disabled driver it is critical that you understand your options when it comes to adaptive automotive products. Every person can benefit from a different device. Finding the right device can assist you in feeling more comfortable entering and exiting your automobile as well as driving your automobile.

Features to Look for in a Vehicle

Upon purchasing a vehicle, there are some tips that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has provided for the public in order that any disabled driver can make an educated decision when buying an automobile. Besides some of the more obvious aspects that a car owner may be on the lookout for, some of the not as obvious tips the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends are:

  • “High or extra-wide doors;
  • Adjustable foot pedals;
  • Large interior door handles;
  • Oversized knobs with clearly visible labels;
  • Support handles to assist with entry and exit;
  • Large or adjustable-size print for dashboard gauges;
  • Seat adjusters that can move the seat in all directions — particularly raising it so the driver’s line of sight is 3” above the adjustedsteering wheel; and
  • Dashboard-mounted ignition rather than steering column-mounted ignition.” [2]

Disabled Driver Takes the Road

Rob Smith, a fifty year old man, is a quadriplegic who has driven across the country several times [3]. After being paralyzed in all four of his ligaments due to a recreational accident, his standard of life significantly decreased [3]. Mr. Smith was no longer able to participate in almost any of his daily activities. This dehumanizing experience hindered him from participating in specifically one of his favorite quotidian events, driving [3]. Since then, Smith has installed remote control access to steer, accelerate and decelerate his car [3]. He has also taken strides to create his own magazine entitled Disabled Drivers [3]. Rob Smith serves as a prime example of what new technology can do to change a disabled driver’s life.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA

If you are a disabled driver and you have suffered a car accident due to another person’s negligence while driving, you may need to call an experienced personal injury attorney. Driving with a disability can already be stressful enough and being victimized by another while driving is never expected. Disabled individuals who are injured by distracted drivers are often entitled to significant financial compensation. When you retain the attorney of the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, you can rest assured that you case will be brought to the most favorable resolution possible. If you or anyone you know is a disabled driver and has been in an auto accident due to a distracted driver, please call the attorneys at Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA for a free consultation at (727)-222-6922.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712



[1] https://www.disabled-world.com/assistivedevices/automotive/
[2] https://www.nhtsa.gov/Driving+Safety/Disabled+Drivers/disabled-drivers-right-vehicle
[3] https://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/25/automobiles/autospecial/25disabled.html