I'm in the process of making an appointment to get a driving evaluation (because I don't want to depend on someone else or Access for rides the rest of my life if I don't have to ). As I understand it, a PT and OT examine you to see if you are physically capable of driving and if you'd need adaptive equipment, and then they take you for a behind-the-wheel assessment. Has anyone done this before? (On the preliminary paperwork, they asked if I had "spasm/startle reflex"...I thought, "Hmm, I could definately see me not being able to drive because of that." Guess we'll see, though.)
Anyway, if I am able to drive, I'm almost positive I'll need hand controls. BUT I would have to share my mom's car. Do any of you know if hand controls can be put on a car and my mom or whoever could still use the pedals?
Absolutely! My wife and I own a Maxima and a Saturn coupe. Both have hand controls, and the pedals are still there so she can use her feet (she prefers to drive barefoot, so that's a good thing). The hand controls mount underneath the steering column and have shafts that attach above the brake and accelerator pedals. The stipulations are that the car MUST have automatic transmission, and power brakes and steering are highly recommended.
I have had evaluations and used hand controls over the years. Unfortunately the person that tested me did not want me to continue driving. I was taked out for a test the last time in the snow i was very nervous and I became startled once (when I wasn't driving) and he said I had a significant startle reflex. I thought I had a good to pass his standards this last time to train to get a license. I feel that they just gave up on me he said I was a fast learner and I have the capability to drive the car. I need help with changing lanes and practicing turns. My visual tracking is ok. He basically told me that I could not suceed ever (not in those exact words but I got his meaning. He said go to dr to find out what I should do if I could improve at all but I was never referred to a dr he just recommended that I not pursue driving at all and said good luck and connect the dots. Any suggestions would be welcome as to whether or not I should go to someone else should I just give up. I had the same person twice for the same test. Most people I know don't believe I can do it only a few. I am tried of people telling me I can't drive because I know I can I was driving although it wasn't in the best weather conditions. The person I had was very impatient also. I have good vision but my balance is not always I do process things a little slower than others but I can learn.
You should definitely seek out someone else who specializes in teaching the disabled to drive. I had an awesome teacher in Albuquerque (my hometown), and I can still hear him in my head sometimes (20 years later). I was very nervous the first couple of weeks after getting my license and buying my first car (1983 Chevette), and I had close calls every day for a week. In 20 years I've had five minor fender benders, and two were rear enders that were not my fault (they hit me). I've been pulled over several times for speeding and not stopping for a right turn at a red light, but my record has been clean for over eight years now (knock on wood!). Since 1986 I've owned six cars, and rented a Taurus with hand controls in Houston several years ago (fast car!). I attended college in Tulsa, and drove the 700 mile trip from Albuquerque many, many times by myself. I've also driven about half of Route 66, and drove from NM to CA and NY in separate trips.
I'll give an update after my evaluation, which is scheduled for July 31...I am afraid something similar will happen to me that happened to you, raeam, but I guess I'll hafta wait and see. My parents wanted to take me out to a parking lot to try with the regular pedals beforehand.....hmm, should be interesting .
Hi thanks for the reply actually I didn't explain that the last eval was actually my third the first one was when I was 19, and next two were with the same person at ages 21 and 26 so its been almost ten years. But i will not give up
I just read your post again wow you have done alot of driving you are an inspiration? What do you do for a job sounds like you have to drive alot. You are right I should not give up I have alot of negativity around me about driving so it does not help to have people always saying what I can't do supposedly. "Normal" people are not always good drivers either so they should'nt discourage a "disabled" person like myself. I have managed to get by without a car but it is hard in the winter not to have one and to look for for other jobs that I want to get without transportation of my own. My goal is to obtain an evaluation in the next few months. Thanks for your encouragement I don't get alot of that.
Steffers I hope that will not happen to you. If it does don't give up for as long as I have (almost ten years) its taken a while to even think about trying again but I have another permit and can afford it better so I may as well try. Most people just want me to accept the decision by the rehab driver instructor which I don't agree with. Good luck to you. I hope the person you have to test you is a fair person one that you didn't have before probably not is it your first evaluation?
Yes, it's my first evaluation. I spoke to the woman on the phone, and she seemed really nice. I also told her that I have absolutely no experience whatsoever with driving, so hopefully she'll be understanding and patient with me.
I want to drive for the same reasons you mentioned...I don't wanna hafta worry about getting a ride to work every day, not to mention everywhere else. We'll see what happens. If you haven't given up yet, I guess I won't either .
I assume you were asking me what I do for a living? I do graphic design from an office (magnet manufacturer) and at home (several clients), but that has nothing to do with the amount I've driven. I've just always enjoyed road trips. In fact, I met my wife online - she was here in Denver and I was in Albuquerque. We took turns every weekend driving 450 miles to see each other. After 3 months it got old, I moved here and we got married a month later. That was almost 9 years ago, and we don't know how we did that! We hope to someday drive and photograph the entire stretch of Route 66 that remains - Chicago to Santa Monica.
So do any of you have any tips for using the hand controls, or for driving in general? I tried driving in a parking lot and was starting to get the hang of making sharp turns...but I had to go VERY slow (slower than you're supposed to...like barely moving ) because I couldn't turn the wheel fast enough otherwise. Is turning easier with a spinner knob?
I'm going on Monday and am actually really nervous about doing horribly...which probably isn't going to help me
My number one tip: Don't be nervous Seffers! You just need to relax. I know that is all much easier said than done but if will help you out if you can, just force yourself to relax, you will do so much better. Good luck!