Hand Controls. What are they? How do they work? How many kinds are there? There are many questions about Hand Controls and many places to look for answers. We here at the BLVD thought it would be nice to put together a few bits of helpful information surrounding Hand Controls.
Hand Controls allow an individual who has limited or no use of their legs to operate a vehicle by relocating the accelerator and brake controls to a hand system. The Hand Controls attach to the rods behind the accelerator and brake pedals, this allows other individuals to drive the vehicle without having to remove the Hand Controls! A driver evaluator will help an individual assess what type of Hand Controls (or other adaptive equipment) is needed.
There are a variety of hand control manufacturers and styles of hand controls. A driver evaluator will be able to inform you exactly what style will be most compatible with your needs. There are a few styles that tend to work best for the majority of people, manual hand controls and electronic hand controls.
Manual hand controls are ones that are operated in the same fashion as the normal accelerator and brake controls but use the force from the arm to depress the pedal. Two types that are often seen are ‘push-right angle’ and ‘push-pull’ hand controls. With ‘push-pull’ style a driver would ‘push’ the control bar forward towards the front of the vehicle to brake, and ‘pull’ the control bar back towards them self to accelerate. With the ‘push-right angle’ the driver would again push the control bar towards the front of the vehicle to brake, and to accelerate would ‘pull’ the control bar down on a pivot towards their lap.
Electronic hand controls are for drivers with very limited physical control. These devices allow most individuals with physical disabilities to drive. There are button controls for ignition, signaling, and gear shifting; as well as joystick controls for acceleration, braking, and steering. These devices are always changing, and you’ll want to talk to a driver evaluator to ensure the equipment will meet all needs.
Head over to the Products-Hand Controls page at TheBLVD.com to find a mobility dealer near you. Your local dealer can then point you in the direction of your local driver evaluator should you need one. Otherwise, they’ll have information on pricing and will have a certified technician to install the equipment.
Just a friendly reminder, any and all accessible driving equipment should only be utilized by an individual who requires the equipment and is fully trained. Any modification to the vehicle’s driving equipment should only be done by a certified installing technician.