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A New Sense of Freedom
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A New Sense of Freedom

Advanced automobile technology is allowing previous nondrivers due to physical impairments a new sense of freedom. Many people take a trip to the doctor's office or grocery store for granted. For some individuals who are impaired, a simple outing means asking someone to drive the person or waiting on someone else's time schedule to travel. This means a last minute road trip or a midnight donut run is out of the question.

Thanks to new advancements in automobile technology, many individuals with disabilities may be approved to drive. Mobility consultants are available to assist individuals select equipment to best suit his/her needs. Vans with advanced technology features are available along with conversion kits that may assist impaired individuals to gain independence. Driver rehabilitation specialists will aid drivers to return to the road quickly and safely. 

A Guidosimplex 906 Accelerator Ring is a hand control that allows the driver to accelerate and maintain a constant speed. The hand control is a ring that mounts over the steering wheel with a click of a button and removes just as easily. Installation of the Guidosimplex 906 Accelerator Ring installs with minimal impact on the automobile's operating system. The ring does not interfere with automobile safety features such as airbag deployment.

Quick fit steering spinner knobs install in seconds and are removed just as easily. BMTech Equipment Technology produces spinner knobs that are stylish, durable and affordable. The anti-slip pad will not damage the steering wheel or endanger the driver. The soft silicone material is comfortable to the touch, even on long road trips. The spinner knob may be positioned to suit the driver's requirements.

There are several companies marketing hand controls such as Menox, Sure Grip, Veigel, Guidosimplex and Monarch. A driver rehabilitation specialist will assist in selecting the best hand control for each individual's needs. The hand control allows the driver to brake or even utilize the clutch on a manual transmission. Both left and right-hand controls are available. The New America Lever by Guidosimplex is a hand control that may be column mounted on the right or left for mechanical braking and accelerating. There are no push and pull mechanisms to hit the driver's legs or mechanical rods to impede driving.

Many companies produce motorized transfer seats that may be installed on the driver or passenger side of a vehicle for easy transfer from a wheelchair to the vehicle. There are even transfer seats that are designed for compact minivans. Adapt Solution's Speedy Lift may be utilized in conjunction with the transfer seat to lift a wheelchair and tuck it neatly behind the driver's seat.

BraunAbility has paired with Chrysler, Ford and other manufacturers to design vans especially for individuals with impairments. Currently, BraunAbility is introducing the newest Chrysler Pacifica in its' lineup of vehicles. The vans may be ordered complete with wheelchair lifts, transfer seats and other technology. BraunAbility's 2016 Wheelchair-Accessible Ford Explorer even caught the attention of Forbes Magazine. The vehicle is designed with a large door opening and a low floor. The van contains adequate room for a retractable ramp. The Ford Explorer meets all government safety standards.

Kenguru EV has developed an electric autonomous car with a reasonable sticker price. The vehicle has not been approved for the United States; however, the future is looking bright. These autonomous compact cars allow the driver to roll into the car via a ramp installed in a hatchback. Apple and even Google are considering entering the autonomous adaptive vehicle field. The resources available to these technology giants may expedite the approval process in the very near future.

SUMMARY: The modern marvels of automobile technology empowers many people with physical impairments to drive. The new drivers are liberated to drive for donuts at midnight or run errands independently.

The photo is provided by Kenguru EV.

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  1. John Mark
    Thank you Rolling Without Limits Staff for the opportunity! Thanks also to the 17 friends/family that voted on this article!
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