Steering Aids Help Keep You on the Right Course
Many drivers with disabilities require the use of specially designed steering aids to make operating a wheelchair accessible vehicle as safe as possible. These aids vary in design and operation, but they are all intended to make driving accessible to all.
Deep-Dish Steering Wheel
This device brings the steering wheel rim approximately 4″ closer to the wheelchair driver and is normally used with a low-effort steering system. It improves wheelchair accessibility to the steering wheel and lessens the range of steering motion.
Foot Steering Control
For drivers with limited upper body dexterity, this conversion transfers control of hand operated driving function to foot operation. Auxiliary and secondary vehicle controls are also adapted to foot operation.
Horizontal Steering Column
This motorized, telescoping steering column allows for adjustment of steering in a variety of planes and positions. It adapts to the reach limitations of a driver, and can be positioned for right or left hand use.
Low Effort Steering
Drivers with limited upper body strength can safely operate a vehicle with this conversion, as it reduces the effort to steer the vehicle by approximately 40 percent.
One Hand Drive Control System
This steering system is designed for people with limited or no use of lower extremities but good strength in one arm and hand. Its main component is a knob through which steering, brake, and throttle are activated. Auxiliary switches can be located adjacent to the knob, with toggle switches for convenience.
Steering Column Extension
This extension brings the steering wheel 2–6″ closer to the wheelchair driver. It provides extra legroom and compensates for reduced range of movement.
Spinner knobs permit safe operation of the steering wheel by drivers who must steer with one hand. It allows them to remain in contact with the steering wheel at all times. They come in a variety of configurations including an amputee ring, knob, so called “quad-steering cuff,” palm grip, tri-pin and v-grip.
Zero Effort Steering
This reduces the effort required to steer the vehicle by approximately 70 per cent. A back-up steering system is usually recommended. It is available for vehicles with power steering.