How Do Disabled Drivers Learn to Use Hand Controls?


Quick Answer

Disabled drivers learn to use hand controls by training with a certified driver rehabilitation specialist, according to the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Some states also offer training courses for disabled drivers through the Department of Motor Vehicles, states AmVans Inc. The hours of training range from 10 to 40 hours, depending on the level of the adaptive controls used and the ability of each driver, states the MDA.

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Full Answer

Depending on the state, training with a CDRS may require a referral from a physician and either a driver's license or a learner's permit, states the MDA. A CDRS conducts an initial evaluation, which helps a disabled driver choose which hand controls are best for her, taking the driver's present and future levels of ability into consideration. The CDRS trains the disabled driver using the type of equipment best suited to the driver's specific disability, and the training involves driving with the adaptive controls in all types of traffic situations. The CDRS then writes a prescription for the adaptive technology chosen and, once the equipment is installed, trains the driver in her own car.

Hand controls can be primary, which control gas, brakes and steering, or secondary, which control such accessories as windshield wipers and turn signals, according to AmVans Inc.

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