Driving adaptations can make a huge difference to your motoring experience. They may enable a person to drive where it would otherwise not be possible, and can help with speed control, steering and signalling. They vary from simple attachments, to replacing all existing controls with a system individually designed for you.
In most cases the original controls can still be used with the adaptations in place, so nominated drivers can still use the car. However, it’s important to bear in mind that most driving controls require an automatic gearbox. Some of our most popular adaptations within this category are described below.
If you find using standard pedals for braking or acceleration difficult, you may be better off using a hand control such as a push/pull device. This popular adaptation allows you to control the speed of the car with your hands by pushing or pulling a lever to accelerate or brake. There are various hand controls available from most manufacturers, but the basic function is the same across most models. They range from more basic mechanical push/pull systems to electronic or air compression systems. If you think a push/pull device may be right for you, they recommend that you also consider an automatic vehicle.
If you have limited mobility in your legs or find push/pull hand controls take too much effort, an electronic accelerator may help, and there are a few different types available.
- With a trigger accelerator you pull with your finger to accelerate, and push away to brake
Over ring accelerator
- The over ring accelerator is fitted in front of the steering wheel. You push it down toward the steering wheel to accelerate
Under ring accelerator
- The under ring accelerator is fitted behind the steering wheel. You pull it towards the steering wheel to accelerate
Ghost ring accelerator
- The ghost ring accelerator is fitted behind the steering wheel. You control the speed by using your fingers in side to side movements
All electronic accelerators come with a hand operated brake. There are a number of electronic accelerators; to find out which would be most suitable for you, speak to your adaptation installer.
Left foot accelerators
If you have limited mobility in your right leg, and cannot use the standard accelerator comfortably, you may benefit from having a left foot accelerator fitted. This will allow you to control the speed with your left foot, while the original accelerator is safely out of the way. There are a few types of left foot accelerators.
- A floor-mounted accelerator is fitted to the left of the brake so that you are able to use your left foot to accelerate. A pedal guard is fitted over the original pedal whilst the new accelerator pedal is being used.
- A twin-flip accelerator is a second pedal fitted to the left of the brake pedal, enabling you to use your left foot to accelerate. The original pedal folds away. In most cases, this can still be used if your nominated driver does not require adaptations.
If you have never driven with a left foot accelerator, it is important to speak to your adaptation installer or Mobility Centre for advice.
If you have difficulty holding or turning a standard steering wheel, there are a number of simple solutions that may well help you. For example, a steering wheel ball can be fitted to allow you to have more control when steering the car.
If you have hand controls fitted, a steering ball is often essential, as it enables you to steer the car with one hand, while operating hand controls with the other. Many can be easily attached and removed.
Remote control devices
Remote control devices help make it easier to operate some of your standard car controls, such as the indicators, windscreen wipers and headlights, using a single control panel mounted on the steering wheel. They can also incorporate a steering wheel call so steering and operating basic car functions can be done with one hand.