Understanding Hand Controls

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Vehicle hand controls give people living with physical disabilities the ability to drive and operate a motor vehicle. Hand controls allow for the driver to manage both the brake and gas pedals using levers that are generally mounted below the steering wheel and attach to the pedals. 

There are many different types of hand controls available, which is why it is important to speak to a mobility expert, often working hand-in-hand with a driver rehabilitation specialist, to find which ones will best suit your needs. Here is an introduction to help you get started in understanding hand control options. 

Push/Rock Style
When the driver pushes the handle forward, the brakes are applied. When the lever is rocked back, the vehicle accelerates. This model is ideal for individuals who have no finger dexterity as they operate the controls. 

Push/Right Angle Style
Individuals who have limited finger dexterity can benefit from these types of hand controls. When the driver pushes the handle upward towards the instrument panel, the brakes are applied. When the control is pushed downwards at a right angle, the vehicle accelerates. 

Push/Pull Style 
In this type of hand control, when the lever is pushed forward, the brakes engage. When the lever is pulled backwards, the vehicle accelerates. If needed, a three-post hand interface can be installed, providing the driver with the ability to maintain contact with the handle, ultimately providing greater control. Push/pull style hand controls are ideal for individuals with limited finger dexterity.

Electronically Assisted Hand Controls
With electronically assisted hand controls, the driver typically uses Joysticks and touchscreens to operate the vehicle. A primary set of controls manages the gas, brakes, and steering. A secondary set of driving controls operates other vehicle functions. This option is good for those who must use only one hand for driving, and who have limited strength and range of motion in both upper and lower extremities. 

There’s much more to know, and this is just a beginning description of what to expect with the various types of hand controls. The individual’s needs and abilities will help to determine what style of hand controls will work best for them to safely operate the vehicle. Experienced mobility experts are standing by at Bussani Mobility to help drivers of all ability levels. 


How to Save on a New Accessible Van in 2020


Have you or your loved one been wishing you had your own accessible van? Is more mobility and independence one of your resolutions for 2020, but you aren’t sure how you’ll be able to fund a mobility van? Here are a few tips on how to save on a new wheelchair van in NY.

Apply for Funding
If you are a veteran with a physical disability, you may be eligible for veteran’s assistance to convert your current vehicle into an accessible vehicle or to purchase a new accessible van. You may also be eligible if you are a veteran whose disability was not caused while serving, but you are still in need of a mobility vehicle. 

If you are not a veteran, check with your state’s Vocational Rehabilitation Program to see if you are eligible for vehicle benefits. 

Finally, see if you qualify for any mobility grants. In New York state, there are several non-profits that aid residents in getting the appropriate mobility equipment for their needs. You may want to check with organizations such as: ADAPT Community Network, Skip of NY, Access VR, OMWDD, or The Weber Foundation of Helping Hands, Inc.

Save on Extras and Essentials
If your heart is set on a brand new vehicle, but the price is beyond your reach, skip some of those luxury extras, as they can really add up. Maybe indulge in a few extras, but avoid the temptation to take every upgrade. You could get the cool navigation system but no leather seats, or the navigation but no alarm system. 

Also, know your options when looking for financing and insurance. The mobility specialists at Bussani Mobility understand all the ins-and-outs, and can guide you through the process and provide resources for better understanding the best options for your situation.

Consider New to You
There are some excellent used vans to choose from, so don’t just browse brand new options. Buying a pre-owned, certified vehicle can save you significantly on your purchase price without sacrificing quality. Just be sure to work with a reputable mobility dealer that understands how to get you into the right car for your needs, and to avoid paying a high price for a vehicle that could have problems if it is not thoroughly checked out by a trained mobility technician. 

Bussani Mobility is here to help you determine what you need, and ease the process of purchasing your new van. That kind of personal attention can be especially helpful if it’s your first time buying a wheelchair van in New York. For over 40 years, we’ve been selling, servicing, and renting mobility vehicles with a variety of features and conversions to help our customers get or stay mobile. Reach out to us today to learn more.