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Determined2Heal Tips:

Click Here — Learn more about transportation and watch thousands of SCI videos on SPINALpedia!

Click Here — Check out our Adaptive Driving Pinterest board

Click Here — Check out our Back to Work Pinterest board

  • Depending on where you live and your lifestyle should determine what kind of transportation system is best for you.
  • For important information to read before purchasing a vehicle, click here

  • ADA regulations require all public buses and trains to be wheelchair accessible

  • For public transportation information in all states, click here

Adaptive Driving By Determined2Heal

(to view a video clip, click here)

There are many steps that one must follow and pass in order to become a licensed driver with a spinal cord injury. First, you need to be evaluated by your doctor, physical therapist, or by a driving school specialist to see if you are functionally ready to get back behind the wheel.

You will need to get your doctor to write a prescription acknowledging that you are functionally ready which will be sent to your states medical board of directors through your DMV or MVA who will authorize your learner’s permit or J restricted license.

Once all of this is taking care of, you will need to choose a driving school company to be trained. Depending on the state you live in, you will need to get a specific number of hours behind the wheel. I live in Maryland, so I needed to get 60 hours behind the wheel.

I chose a driving school in Pennsylvania because they had a very short waiting list of six months compared to the Maryland Driving School Company which had a waiting list of two years.

My driving school instructor tested out a few different assistive technology devices that operated the vehicle I was driving. He was trying to figure out what adaptive technology devices I was most comfortable with.

After finishing the 60 hours, I was ready to take the test. My driving instructor informed me that I could choose between two DMV locations. One location involved parallel parking and the other location involved regular parking.

I went with the regular parking. It is important to call up multiple DMV’s or MVA’s within your area and find out how their testing is done. Once you pass the test, you are officially a licensed driver.

I now have to purchase a full-size van because of my height and the size of my wheelchair. After doing so my vocational case manager will allocate funds to adapt the vehicle.

Ramp Vehicles

The Braun Corp. is the ultimate wheelchair van website. It has great pictures that clearly show different vehicles and vehicle modifications. Visit their site to figure out which vehicle and vehicle modification is right view. Click here

View a large list of accessible minivans and regular size vans. Click here

Honda Element SUV

This link will take you the freedom motors home page. They are engineers dedicated to proving new accessible driving solutions. There newest product, an accessible Honda element is a small SUV with the capabilities of a conversion van.

Chevy Silverado 1500

This website is dedicated to the latest breakthrough in adaptive vehicle technology. Wheelchair accessible pick-up trucks!!! Their newest product in called the Airbag Ramptruck. It is a Chevy Siverado 1500 extended cap with a ramp that fold out of the two suicide doors. Check out the site.

Hand Control Vehicles

If you are a paraplegic, Access Unlimited has vehicle modifications without ramps for small vehicles to 18 wheelers. To learn more, click here

Redi AutoSport was once a manufacturer of driving adaptations for sports cars to help people with disabilities, but they have since closed down. Here are some of the cars they made accessible: BMW M3 2004 Convertible
Dodge Charger 2006 R/T Corvette 2003
More sportscars from Redi AutoSport. The 2007 Mazda MX-5 Miata
The 2007 Mustang The All new 2007 Jeep Wrangler
1967 Ferrari 330 GT
1965 Aston Martin DB4 1960’s Ford T-Bird

Hand Controls for Gas/Breaks

“RediAuto Sport hand controls can be installed both on automatic and manual transmission vehicles. “Using RediAuto Sport Hand Controls
At first glance you might think the RediAuto Sport hand controls would be difficult to use. Nothing could be further from the truth. While they are like nothing else sold in the country, they are very easy to use and extremely well made. The system consists of three major components. An (1) accelerator ring, a (2) hand brake, and a (3) clutch control. The system is engineered to work together. Learning to operate it usually takes about an hour of use.”

Menox Hand Controls

This site provides you with information about the line up of menox hand controls for today’s automobiles. From steering knobs to gas and break levers, this website has great ideas that will make driving with a disability easier than it has ever been before.

Quad Hand Controls

This is a great web site with a wide variety of adaptive controls

Hand Controls“Creative Controls, Inc. (CoAbbreviation) designed the Moto-MateTM hand control. Push right angle hand control that is not only durable but good-looking. The CoAbbreviation Moto-MateTM blends well with vehicle interiors. It can be ordered with up to four switches for turn, horn, dimmer or other functions if desired.”
Braking Systems and Dual Break“Adaptive braking systems for any vehicles. There is also a dual brake system that can be added on the passenger side which provides the passenger the ability to help with the brakes.”
The DADC “500”P
“Pull the DADC”500″P handle for gas, push for brakes. The full range of motion from idle to full throttle is less than two inches, and the smooth, light touch makes it a dream to drive! Helpful for those with limited hand strength.”
The DADC”500″ Twist Control
“Gently twist the DADC”500″ handle for gas. Push the lever for brakes. Action is smooth and precise. Space savings is achieved over other hand control systems because no lever movement is needed for gas! Power assist enables full throttle in one turn of the wrist.”
AEVIT® Gas / Brake and Steering Systems This web site has great up-to-date technology when it comes to adaptive controls for vehicles

Hand Steering

Hand Controls This web site has a large selection of hand steering controls for the wheel
Voice Activation of Secondary Controls “VIC® will set new performance standards for truly “user friendly” access to important secondary controls while driving. For years, operation of necessary controls such as Shifter Functions, Turn Signals, Horn, Headlight Dimmer, Wipers, etc. by physically challenged drivers, has been an exercise in cockpit aerobics. Previous controls are limited to placement within the cockpit due to the fact that they require absolute positioning for each switch to be accessed. Therefore, some of these functions are easier to access than others……..Not with VIC®!All of the 16-vehicle controls can be accessed as easily as touching a single switch and speaking.”

Click Your Level of Injury

Medical Disclaimer: The Determined2heal Foundation offers educational and health related information relevant to persons with spinal cord injuries, their families, and others of interest. The information contained herein on this site is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek advice from your physician or other qualified health professionals before implementing any new regiment concerning your individual health. Always seek the advice of your physician prior to starting or changing any medical or health treatment.

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