Driving is not just a mode of transportation; it’s a means of independence and empowerment for many individuals with disabilities. Portable hand controls are a remarkable innovation that allows disabled drivers the freedom to hit the open road. However, before you embark on your journey with these adaptive devices, it’s crucial to ensure they are properly installed for your safety and the safety of others on the road.
In this blog post, we will provide you with valuable tips for installing portable hand gas and brake controls in your domestic vehicle, focusing on the general process rather than any specific brand or product.
Read the Instruction Manual:
Before you begin the installation process, take the time to thoroughly read the instruction manual that accompanies your portable hand controls. These manuals are designed to provide you with step-by-step guidance specific to the product you’ve purchased. Understanding the manufacturer’s recommendations is essential to ensure a safe installation.
Choose the Appropriate Location:
Portable hand controls can typically be installed on the steering column’s left or right side. Select the side that suits your driving preferences and comfort. It’s essential to make this decision before starting the installation process of hand controls for disabled drivers, as it may affect the orientation of some components.
Position the Controls:
With your chosen side in mind, position the hand control lever so that it is within comfortable reach while you are seated in the driver’s position. Ensure it does not obstruct access to the brake, gas pedal, or other essential controls.
Secure the Hand Control:
Attach the hand control securely to the steering column or other designated mounting points according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Use the provided tools and hardware to fasten it in place firmly. Double-check for any loose fittings, as stability is crucial for safe driving.
Adjust and Test:
Once the hand control is secured, take some time to adjust it to your liking. Make sure it is positioned comfortably within your reach, and that the lever operates smoothly. Familiarize yourself with the control’s operation before hitting the road.
Ensure that the portable hand control you have purchased is compatible with your specific domestic vehicle make and model. Some hand controls may require additional adapters or modifications to fit correctly, so checking this aspect before installation is important.
Consult a Professional:
If you are uncertain about any aspect of the installation process or feel uncomfortable doing it yourself, seek assistance from a qualified automotive technician or a certified mobility specialist. They can provide expertise and ensure the hand controls are installed correctly and safely.
Practice and Gain Confidence:
After the installation is complete, practice operating the hand controls in a controlled environment, such as an empty parking lot. Take the time to become comfortable with the new driving experience before venturing onto busy roads.
Just like any other part of your vehicle, portable hand controls require regular maintenance. Periodically check for any signs of wear, loose bolts, or other issues. Lubricate moving parts as recommended by the manufacturer to ensure smooth operation.
Stay Informed About Regulations:
Be aware of local and state regulations regarding the use of portable hand controls. Some regions may have specific requirements or restrictions that you need to adhere to. Staying informed will help you avoid legal complications.
Portable hand controls are a remarkable tool that empowers individuals with disabilities to enjoy the freedom of driving. However, their safe and proper installation is paramount. Following the tips outlined above and referring to the manufacturer’s instructions, you can ensure that hand controls for handicapped drivers are securely and safely installed in your domestic vehicle, allowing you to hit the road confidently and independently.
Remember that if you have any doubts or concerns, it’s always best to seek professional assistance to guarantee a safe and enjoyable driving experience.