Adapting Sports Cars For Disabled Drivers
It is a surprisingly common misconception that disabled drivers don’t usually drive luxury or sports cars. Vehicle adaptations however, can be fitted to a wide range of cars, including sports cars and luxury model vehicles making this possible, as well as assuring that drivers with a disability have access to a wide variety of different vehicles, and are able to enjoy a dream car.
Luxury cars and sports cars offer premium performance and an entirely different driving experience to that of a regular car. Sports cars in particular are popular due to their unique features and design – rapid acceleration, sharp cornering and level the of driving offered by a sports car is simply not found in larger vehicles.
Sports Car Adaptation Solutions
For those unable to operate standard pedals on a vehicle, push pull hand controls are available – this adaptation fits brake and accelerator controls to the steering wheel. Traditionally these hand controls are in the form of a push and pull lever, although there are sensitive electronic touch systems and air compression systems available to suit differing needs. All of which offer easy to use, light operation controlled by the hands rather than the legs – suitable for those with lower body weakness and partial upper body weakness.
Transferring to the driver’s seat and turning to face the wheel can be tricky, the swivel seat is designed to make getting in and out of the car easier for those with mobility issues. The swivel seat provides the ideal solution, the rotating base can be fitted to the driver or passenger side of the vehicle providing 90° rotation, allowing the driver to easily transfer from a wheelchair into the seat, then turning once more to face the driving wheel.
There are both manual and electric swivel seats available. Swivel seats can also be used with the Carony wheelchair base, this system allows the car seat to transform into a wheelchair seat providing a seamless transfer from the car to chair, as well as eliminating any manual handling of the occupant.
Milford Person Hoist
Sports cars are generally lower to the ground than other vehicles and are of a more compact size, making them more difficult to get in and out of.
Although an electric hoist adaptation such as the Milford Person is a somewhat more limited option for sports cars, it can be fitted to some makes and models (it may be easier if the vehicle has a convertible roof for example). The Milford Person Hoist consists of an electric hoist, specifically designed for lifting people from the wheelchair to the vehicle using a sling – the sling is of a practical design and can be worn whilst driving, facilitating exit from the vehicle once the driver has arrived at the destination. The hoist can be operated by the driver or by a helper.
For individuals with difficulty using the pedals due to disability or short stature there are various pedal modifications available, such as pedal extension, pedal extensions with a raised floor, pedal guards, hinged pedals and flip up pedals.
An extremely wide range of vehicles are offered under the Motability scheme including luxury brands such as BMW and Mercedes. The scheme also includes a number of sporty models such as the Mazda MX-5 and the Audi A3 Sportback – for more information contact Motability.