For many disabled drivers, hand controls are an essential mobility solution. They can be life-changing for people of all abilities and enable them to drive independently. However, choosing the right driving aid can be challenging, given the many options available.
With this article, we want to give you answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about hand controls for drivers with reduced mobility. We want you to make an informed decision when choosing the best steering solution suiting your individual driving needs. Our aim is to provide disabled drivers with the information they need to become more independent through the use of hand controls.
We provide answers to common questions about the different types of hand controls so that those with mobility issues easily can make an informed decision.
Frequently asked questions about hand controls
What are hand controls for disabled drivers?
Hand controls are devices that allow drivers with disabilities to operate the vehicle using only their hands. They are often equipped with brakes, accelerators, and other essential functions that can be operated by hand. The different types available include lever controls, push/rock controls, push/pull controls, and electronic hand controls.
Which type of hand control suits me best?
Your most suitable type of hand control depends on your driving needs and abilities:
- Right-hand controls: are designed for individuals who only need to operate the accelerator and brake using their right hand.
- Left-hand controls: are designed for individuals who need to operate the accelerator and brake using their left hand only.
- Lever: is optimal for drivers who are new to hand controls and want a basic solution.
- Push/Rock: is are ideal for those with limited grip and reduced hand mobility.
- Push/Pull: is simple to use, with a push or pull motion activating the accelerator and brake.
- Electronic controls: are best for those who need a more sophisticated solution, offer greater precision and control.
What other types of manual solutions are there?
There are many different steering- and driving aids available to improve accessibility in vehicles, these include for instance steering knobs, joystick steering, as well as hand controls like the gas ring:
- Steering knobs are devices that attach to the steering wheel to provide an alternative means of steering for drivers with disabilities. They are designed to be easy to grip and use, and can be installed on almost any vehicle.
- Joystick steering is a new and innovative solution for drivers with disabilities. It allows drivers to operate the vehicle using a joystick that is mounted on the dashboard. This provides greater control and ease.
- The gas ring has the same functionality as the accelerator pedal but in the shape of a thin ring located slightly above or below the steering wheel. Pushing, or rather squeezing, the ring nearer to the steering wheel makes the car accelerate. Please note, that the gas ring only controls acceleration, the braking has to be activated by something else. If you have the functionality of the left foot, it may be activated by the original pedal.
Do hand controls fit in any vehicle?
The short answer is yes, hand controls can be fitted to any vehicle. However, it is recommended to install them in a conventional automatic vehicle. There is a potential danger and difficulty of driving with hand control in a manual vehicle while changing gears. Obviously, hand controls can only be used with vehicles that have been modified to accommodate them.
How about additional adaptions after installation?
Additional solutions can be added to the control setup at any time. BraunAbility's customers offer professional installation and support services worldwide. This ensures that any additions or modifications to the hand controls are made safely and effectively..
Can I adjust my steering column after the installation?
Yes, you can adjust your steering column after the hand controls have been fitted. Steering aids ensure that you can drive safely and with greater ease.
Can someone else drive the vehicle?
Yes, the original controls of the vehicle are not removed, and someone else can still drive the vehicle with their feet. The hand controls operate the accelerator and brake and do not affect the ability to use the foot pedals. The conventional brake and accelerator remain in their functionality. In any case, we recommended to inform the driver that hand controls have been adapted to your needs.
Are hand controls difficult to use?
No, hand controls are simple to operate and are designed to be easy to understand. BraunAbility offers training and support to help our customers feel comfortable using them.
Leading provider of mobility solutions
BraunAbility offers a wide range of solutions to meet the individual needs of every person behind the steering wheel. No matter what type of assistance you require, Whatever type of help you need, there is a product available to garantuee your accessibility. By installing accessibility solutions in a vehicle, disabled individuals can regain independence and the power to drive safely and comfortably.