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Adaptive Driving Aids For Your Car

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Driver Seat Modifications

The driver’s seat is modified depending on the person’s ability to enter or exit the vehicle. The seat helps in positioning, balancing, and providing stability to the driver. Power seats are the attachments which help to adjust the seat position. The seat is modified to allow it to be rotated, removed or lowered. The driver’s seat is modified so that it can be turned to enable the person to enter the vehicle. Provision for climbing onto the vehicle is provided. Lap belts are used along with shoulder belts on the seat to provide extra support.

  • Ricon: Take a look at this 6-way Power Transfer Seat.
  • Bruno: Provides a range of Turning Automotive Seating options.
  • Adaptive Auto: Offers a state-of-the-art transfer seat for adaptive driving.
  • Getting in Gear: The article discusses adaptive driving with information on driver seat modifications.
  • Modifications: Explains various modifications to be done for adaptive driving including driver seat modifications.

Wheelchair Ramps and Lifts

Ramps and lifts are provided in the vehicle to enable easy entry and exit from the vehicle. Ramps are used to load scooters and other equipments. Modifications such as increasing the width of doors in minivans and automatic button to open and close the doors are installed before the ramps and lifts are installed. Handle bars and grab bars are located in convenient position in the van to make it easy for the driver to move in and out of the wheelchair. Transfer boards are provided to help the driver slide from the wheelchair to the car seat.

Cost Saving Opportunities

There are some cost-saving opportunities for people with disabilities. Many nonprofit organizations provide grants to pay for the devices. Some health insurance companies provide coverage for vehicle modification, wheelchair lifts, and adaptive devices. State governments have waived taxes on adaptive devices and the mobility-impaired can receive certain tax benefits. The person can claim to get medical deductions in income tax returns. It’s best to contact a tax consultant to know more about it. Many manufactures of the adaptive devices provide reimbursements and rebates for the devices.

  • ADA Mobility: Provides a list of cost-saving opportunities.
  • Ride-Away: Check out their 10-year financing options.
  • Financing: Offers information on state and federal government agencies.
  • North Carolina: A number of funding options for people in North Carolina.
  • Able Data: A resource centre for people who are looking for funding.

Car Manufacturers

Car manufacturers offer mobility programs where the buyer is provided with vehicles which are equipped with a number of adaptive devices. Most of the wheelchair lifts and devices provided in the vehicles are eligible for reimbursements. Chrysler provides reimbursement of up to $750 for trucks, and the reimbursement for cars is up to $1000. The car is modified to be equipped with adaptive driver and passenger equipments or there’s also a full sized wheelchair van. Similar programs are run by other leading car companies such as Dodge, Toyota, Honda, GM, and Ford. Training is provided to drive such vehicles and the person is required to obtain a license to operate the vehicle.

  • Ford: The mobility motoring division of the company.
  • GM: General Motors’ Mobility homepage.
  • Volkswagen: One of the top manufacturers of mobility vehicles.
  • Toyota: Check out their range of mobility vehicles.
  • Chrysler: Find out more about their Automobility program.

Resources

For more information about assistive vehicles and driving programs, please visit the following links:

  • ADED: Homepage of the Association for Driver Rehabilitations Specialists.
  • Driving While Disabled: Provides basic information for adaptive driving.
  • Automotive Safety: The NHTSA provides safety information for adaptive drivers.
  • NMEDA: Official website of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association.
  • Cars & Driving: Provides information on adaptive driving.
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Matt is the Managing Partner at Leland-West Insurance Brokers, Inc. He started with the firm while still a college student, way back in 1984. According to Matt his only remaining hobby is Motorsport ... because its all he can afford ("will work for tires"). Reach him at matt@lelandwest.com