Despite there being an estimated 1.9 million disabled drivers in the United Kingdom, issues that relate specifically to their needs can be to some degree overlooked. There are obviously a number of special requirements and allowances which need to be taken into account. Some of them are listed below.
Learning to Drive
17 is the standard minimum age for legally driving a car in the United Kingdom. However, those who are able to access the Disability Living Allowance inclusive of the mobility component (a higher rate of allowance) are able to drive at 16. All new drivers should seek professional driving tuition, and disabled drivers in particular would benefit from the knowledge and support of an instructor who has previous experience in the needs and concerns of disabled drivers. Some instructors will have taken specific courses in order to effectively tutor disabled drivers.
The waiting list for taking the theory and practical driving tests can be long, so it is best to book as early as possible. When you first book your practical driving test, you will be asked if you have any special needs which require further assistance (such as missing limbs or a condition which affects your movement). They will also ask if you require wheelchair assistance. It is important that you mention any special requirements and take advantage of any assistance they can offer you.
A Suitable Vehicle for Ease of Driving
Fortunately, there are many alterations which can be made to vehicles these days in order to make them comfortable and practical for disabled drivers. Accessories include hand controls to operate the brake and accelerator, joystick steering, wheelchair hoists and ramps, cushions, covers and supports, safety belts, harnesses, adapted mirrors and rotating seats. Each of the above may be fitted to your already existing car. Alternatively, you may want to consider a driver-ready vehicle from one of the many companies who specialise in vehicles for disabled people, such as www.alliedmobility.com wheelchair cars – click to visit