Vehicle Hand Controls and Disability Driving Aids

Posted On: 02/08/2018

Vehicle Hand Controls and Disability Driving Aids

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.

How do Hand Controls work?

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.

How Many Kinds of Hand Controls Are There?

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.

Now What?

Head over to the Products-Hand Controls page at 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.


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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