Weakness and fatigue can make your car indispensable for an active lifestyle but can cause worrying problems with getting in and out and the practicalities of operating car controls. Seeking advice can accompany the fear of being told it is unsafe to continue driving.
Relax! Advice is available from people who are 'on your side' and the technology is available to cater for most physical problems. One driving instructor called in by a commercial vehicle adaptation company to teach a customer how to drive his vehicle commented, "I teach people to drive a car, not to pilot aeroplanes!" The vehicle in question had a four way joystick instead of steering wheel and pedals with electric buttons for everything else. Most adaptations are not so extensive or expensive. Often something as simple as correct seating can make all the difference for a better operating position.
Independent advice is available from any member of the U.K. Forum of Assessment Centres. Banstead Mobility Centre in Surrey is one of them. You can phone for free general advice and details of companies who provide adaptations or visit the Centre by appointment (0181 770 1151) for assessment and advice appropriate to your need. Opportunities are available to drive suitably adapted vehicles before you approach a commercial company to have adaptations fitted to your own car. The Centre also run a special driving school for the disabled. Numerous disability problems are understood and dealt with by qualified members who claim not to promote all disabled drivers to flying with the Red Arrows, but can help one remain mobile and safe on the road using joystick or steering wheel as appropriate.
Reg T Wheeler
Mr. Wheeler's daughter is a qualified Occupational Therapist and Driving Instructor at the Banstead Mobility Centre where Myasthenics are welcome and understood!
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