Physically challenged individuals need a bit more help from a vehicle to make their driving experience pleasant, easy, and safe. Many car manufacturing companies have filled this market niche with cars that are engineered and designed for people who don’t have the exact same mobility as physically-abled people.
If you have someone you love who is raring to drive for the first time, here’s how to get her the vehicle that is perfect for her physical challenges:
Compare the person’s impairment and the vehicle’s performance. Does she need more room inside the vehicle to maneuver? Does a wheelchair have to fit in front? Do you already have a vehicle that can be changed up to suit her needs? Does the doctor have a list of specifications that a vehicle should meet to truly be her automotive partner in driving? How will she get in and out of the vehicle? Will she be driving all the time? These questions will lead to the shaping of the vehicle that will fit her driving needs.
Prepare a list of required modifications for the vehicle. This list will be a combination of your comparison, the therapist’s assessment, and the doctor’s must-have list. Some of these might include:
- Lifting mechanism for entering the vehicle.
- Special hand controls for driving.
- Crane for exiting the vehicle.
- Doors that open all the way across the length of the vehicle. That, or doors that open all the way up to the vehicle’s roof.
Seek the help of charitable organizations, insurance, and federal allocation. Vehicles that are customized to fit the driver are expensive so you will need all the help you can get. To make it easier to come up with the money if you are truly hard up, seek out local charity and non-profit organizations. You can also get help from insurance companies and federal aid for people with disabilities.
Go to more than one car dealership. A major part of finding the perfect vehicle for her is the thrill of the search. The road as they say is wide open so go to as many car dealerships and services that offer to upgrade cars for the use of physically challenged people. You might even get a surprise and get it tricked out as an added service to her.
Compare prices and features. The beauty of it is called “options.” Even a couple of hundred dollars will mean a lot so prepare a list and start filling this out with prices and features.
Ask for a test drive. This is a very important aspect prior to making a purchase. Bring the physically challenged individual to the car dealership or car service so she can test the car herself. She has to feel safe, secure, and comfortable driving it. Aside from that, test driving the vehicle will allow her to “listen” to the vehicle and determine if there’s something wrong with it. Bring a professional car expert around if you feel that you must.
In the end, all the hard work you put to raise the funds and look for the perfect vehicle will pay off if the vehicle you get will live up to more than what is written on the brochure.