Driving Adaptations

A look at some types of adaptive equipment that may make it easier for your loved one to drive.

Because driving is the most common form of transportation in America, it is an important aspect of personal independence. For this reason many companies have begun to adapt vehicles to facilitate individuals with special mobility needs. These vehicles include a variety of adaptive equipment that allows these individuals to drive—or to more easily ride—in a vehicle.

Vehicle adaptations include:

  • Wheelchair or scooter lifts
  • Wheelchair security systems (e.g., special brake locks on wheels)
  • Electric transfer seat bases that allow an individual to move from his or her wheelchair or scooter to the driver’s seat
  • Wheelchair or scooter carriers, allowing the chair or scooter to be transported
  • Alternative steering in the form of hand controls
  • Vehicles allowing for side or rear entry
  • Raised car or van door tops
  • Dropped vehicle floors
  • Power-based ramps that allow for wheelchair or scooter entry

Additional vehicle modifications include:

  • Custom seat belts or restraints
  • Gear shift modifications
  • Grab handles
  • Dashboard modifications
  • Left foot throttles
  • Pedal extensions
  • Remote car entry
  • Sensitized brakes

For further information about car adaptations and state regulations of vehicles, contact your local Department of Motor Vehicles office.

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