Ready to start driving with Hand Controls?

Posted On: 04/22/2015

Ready to start driving with Hand Controls? Here are the top three things to do first. 

Are you or someone you know new to a wheelchair? Many things in life have and will continue to change from your daily routine. One of the areas of possibility for many is driving again or even for the first time. There is a surplus of technology now for accessible driving including hand controls and aids for standard and adapted vehicles.

But first, what are hand controls and how do they work? Simply put, hand controls are categorized as either primary or secondary. Primary hand controls assist with the functioning of steering, gas and brakes whereas secondary hand controls help with shifting gears, blinkers and windshield wipers. They will be bolted to the pedals and attached to the steering column. It is crucial that you know all the resources available so that you get exactly what you want and need. Check out the top three tips below to start driving with hand controls.  

1. Contact Your Local Mobility Dealer on BLVD

Each individual is going to have different needs and getting the right hand control system requires some research and a few helpful resources. It is easy to search for these products on the web for basic information but the best and most comprehensive way to learn more is to contact your local mobility dealer, which can be located on They will have the knowledge of the options available and provide insight on practical application.

Your dealer will be a great partner through this entire process and will be your go to on questions before, during and after you get your hand controls in

Road sign saying independence

stalled. They can refer you to a driver evaluation program which will be able to determine which system you will need and is described more in the next section.  Once

 the right hand control system is selected, installation is conducted by the dealer and can take approximately 4-8 hours depending on what you are getting. Your dealer will ensure that they are custom fit to your needs and provide test drives so that driving the vehicle with hand controls is to your liking and comfort.

2. Take part in a Driver Evaluator Program

Your local mobility dealer will also be able to connect you with a local driver evaluator program which is a key part of the process. The certified driver evaluators will be able to pinpoint what you need and provide the recommendations to the dealer so you get exactly what you need…no more, no less.

This evaluation includes training will also give you the confidence to drive with the recommended system. It is important to note that it is still required for the driver using the installed hand controls to pass a standard driving test before he or she can hit the road.

3. Understand the Options and Benefits of Hand Controls

There are different styles and configurations of hand controls on the market and it is best to consult with your local mobility dealer and driver evaluator to determine which one is right for you.  They will help you to get to know the functionality of each type of hand control and the benefits or drawbacks.

Be sure to ask about the wide range of costs associated. Overspending on hand controls is easy to do if you don’t ask the right questions. For instance, you can spend up to three times as much on the more advanced hand controls systems. Now these systems, like the MPD 3700, are great and offer a lot of benefits but may be more than you need. You could save up to $2,000 for the classic MPD 3500.Hand Controls in black leather VW

Keep in mind that installing hand controls does not limit the functionality for the vehicle to be driven normally. The original gas and brake pedals will still be accessible and functional. Many systems offer a quick release which are easy to pop on and off allowing for other styles to be reinstalled without a visit to your dealer.  A nice safety feature is a “lockout” mode that will disable the hand controls so if your 16 year old son or daughter take the vehicle out they won’t be able to try to drive with them.  

There are also high end options available for  luxury or sports cars that keep the aesthetics intact and keep you driving your dream car. These stylish and functional options would make you proud to install in your Corvette! 

Above all, we at BLVD want you to be comfortable and confident using hand controls! Be sure to visit BLVD for more information on hand controls, mobility dealers, and more wheelchair accessible resources. 


Author Information

Katie Cummings
Mobility Blogger

My professional background stems from non-profit marketing and fundraising for a large children’s cancer hospital. Every day I was able to make connections and relationships for kids and their families going through devastating times. From securing small donations to large corporate support, it was all about providing hope that one day doctors and researchers would find a cure. It was truly an honor to be a part of something so important.

Just this past year, I came to work alongside my family for, a website dedicated to offering the latest information and resources for people needing mobility products. This was a dream come true for me as I have always wanted to combine more time with my family while still helping others. Our family has been in the mobility industry for over 35 years with the goal of enhancing the quality of life for people with mobility issues. This is the spirit behind BLVD and what I am most excited about sharing in my blog.

I love meeting new people and have found that volunteering is the best way to learn more about others and myself. Coffee keeps me going as do walks my pup "Kirby" and most of all being with family and friends. I invite you to check out my blog to learn more about how "together we can move through life better!"

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