Today, we discuss spinal cord injury driving with hand controls, and how do you drive if you’re paralyzed. Helen recounts how she learned how to drive after a motorcycle accident left her paraplegic. She discusses driving using hand controls and some of the things she learned along the way.
Helen had a motorcycle accident in 2008 and has a T5 incomplete spinal cord injury. Before she got her F-150 with hand controls, Helen had no transportation and was stuck at home, so for her, so getting her truck was life-changing. Initially, learning how to drive with hand controls was challenging, but learning to drive a vehicle with her hands was fun, and now, she really enjoys driving her truck. She can use it as an outlet for when she’s stressed or just wants to get away. Now, Helen can grab her dog, get in the truck and just go.
Driving is a basic life skill that most people take for granted. For those who are paralyzed in the lower body, driving can be an unattainable goal. Luckily, there are many ways to drive if you’re paralyzed in the lower body. There are adaptive driving devices like hand controls and adaptive steering devices that can help you drive with your arms or hands. There are also different types of vehicles that can be modified to accommodate someone who has limited mobility in their legs – like minivans and SUVs.
Hand controls are a driving aid for people who have spinal cord injuries. They are controlled by the driver’s hands and usually, they stick out from the steering wheel. A person with a spinal cord injury can drive using hand controls if their injury is high enough, and if they have some feeling in their hands and arms. A spinal cord injury can be a devastating event to one’s life. It can leave the individual with limited mobility and control over their body. However, this doesn’t mean that they cannot drive. The person will need to use hand controls because they cannot use their feet to operate the pedals. The hand controls are designed to be intuitive and easy-to-use for people who have limited mobility or lack sensation in their hands.
The individual will also need to have a specially fitted vehicle, as well as modifications made inside the vehicle for them to be able to drive safely and comfortably. Driving with hand controls is not as easy as it sounds. You need to be able to operate controls that are located on the steering wheel and floor of the vehicle. If you enjoyed this video about spinal cord injury driving with hand controls, and how do you drive if you’re paralyzed, please remember to like, share, subscribe and leave a comment if you have any questions, suggestions, or feedback. We hope to see you here again soon!