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Easy Car Makeovers for Adaptive Driving

How to adapt your pre-owned vehicle to meet your needs after a stroke

A stroke survivor utilizing adaptive equipment to safely and independently return to the open road.

Driving after a stroke is often a major concern for survivor’s and their loved ones. It prompts many questions about ability, safety and vehicle options. Often times, the physical disadvantages that result from stroke can compromise a survivor’s ability to operate their vehicle.

Advances in the vehicle modification industry have introduced new driving controls that are giving independence back to stroke survivors that want to drive. They allow them to get back behind the wheel in their own vehicle to go where they want to go, when they want to go.

Innovative vehicle modifications such as hand controls, left-foot accelerators, lifts and mobility seating can transform your personal vehicle into a vehicle that give you more freedom. Mobility equipment dealers strive to remain at the forefront of the vehicle modification industry by providing cutting-edge technology and a full selection of adaptable equipment for your pre-owned vehicle.  

Hand Controls For Stroke Survivors with Limited Use of their Feet

Sure Grip is North America’s #1 manufacturer of hand controls and driving aids for the disabled. The Sure Grip  hand control system is specifically designed to give drivers the benefit of controlling a vehicle with both hands on the wheel making for a safer, smoother driving experience.

Unlike other manual hand controls, the Sure Grip operating handle is in the vertical position; accelerating by rocking back in an arching motion using the fingers and/or the palm. There are several options to choose from:

  • Spinner knob: Attached to the steering wheel to allow controlled steering with use of one hand.
  • Single Pin: As an alternative to the spinner knob, this hand control was designed for clients that cannot open their hand fully.
  • Tri Pin: Great for an independent driver. It requires minimal gripping strength and/or reduced wrist stability.
  • V-Grip: This attachment is intended for drivers with moderate gripping strength.
  • Steering Wheel Extension: This device is individually customizable, so you can pick a diameter and height that best suits your needs. The easily removable device is completely compatible with any OEM steering wheel.

Electronic Mobility Controls (EMC) offers driving control products that are safe and provide piece of mind every time you are on the road.

  • Lever (L) A gas/brake input with 4” of travel and requiring 4 lbs of force from the full gas to the full brake position. It is designed for customers that have a wider range of motion and a larger effort level.
  • Joystick (J or SJ) A joystick input that is available in a two-axis configuration for gas/brake and steering, or a single-axis for gas/brake or steering. It has a total range of motion of 60° and requires a maximum 3.2 oz of force to operate. It is designed for customers with a minimal range of motion and effort level.
  • Wheel (W) A steering input that has a 2:1 turn ration between the AEVIT wheel and the vehicles steering wheel. It requires 3.2 oz of force at the proper orthotic position of 3 3/8” from center. It is also designed for customers that have a wider range of motion.

Left-foot Accellorator

Sure Grip offers the Sure Foot which was designed to offer a left foot gas pedal which acts exactly like your vehicle’s existing gas pedal. Sure Foot removable features a quick-release base so the entire assembly can be removed and re-installed quickly and easily.

Lifts for Stroke Survivors that use Wheelchairs or Walkers

Bruno Independent Living Aids offers more solutions for the transportation of your mobility device than any other manufacturer.

  • AWL-150 & ASL-400 Scooter & Wheelchair Lifts that work in all types of vehicles. These fold-down wheelchair and scooter lifts make lifting and storing your manual folding wheelchair or scooter virtually effortless.
  • JOEY: Simple, convenient and reliable. The large platform handles mobility devices up to 28” wide with drive on/off capability.

Mobility Seating

The Bruno Valet seat is an innovative system for lower vehicles which provides easy access to an automotive seat. The seat power rotates out over the doorsill, bridging the gap for a safe transfer onto the seat. Valet seats are designed for practically every type of vehicle: high riding SUVs or Pickup. Bruno can match your lifestyle and your vehicle with a turning seat that will deliver independence.

Finding a Dealer That's Up to Standards

Hand controls, left-foot accelerator, lifts and mobility seating offers opportunities for the stroke survivor to regain their mobility freedom in their pre-owned vehicle. Click here to search reliable dealers that offer an expanded selection of adaptable equipment.

It is important to select a reputable dealer to provide the adaptable equipment and installation for your pre-owned vehicle. The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association provides a list of questions to assure the dealer meets the high standards of the NMEDA.

  1. Are they members of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) or another organization that has vehicle conversion standards?
  2. Are they Quality Assurance Program (QAP) certified?
  3. Do they provide ongoing service and maintenance?
  4. Do they provide 24/7 emergency service?
  5. Do they provide training on the adaptable equipment?
  6. Can the equipment be transferred to a new vehicle in the future?

Adapting pre-owned vehicles provides stroke survivors with mobility freedom in the vehicle they love and are familiar vehicle.

By: Nancy Carey, Sales Consultant, Ride-Away

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"Advances in the vehicle modification industry have introduced new driving controls that are giving independence back to stroke survivors that want to drive."

Professional Resources:

If you think you’re ready to drive again, consulting these professionals could be the next step to getting back on the road.

  • Contact your State Department of Motor Vehicles / Office of Driver Safety. Ask them what requirements apply to people who’ve had a stroke.
  • Have your driving tested by a Professional Driving Evaluation Specialist. This will provide an accurate evaluation of your driving ability.
  • Enroll in a Driver Training Program. For a fee, you may receive a driving assessment, classroom instruction and suggestions for vehicle modifications.
  • Contact a mobility equipment dealer in your area. Browse the Stroke-Network.com directory here for regional listings.
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