Handicap Conversion Vehicles

Written by Sierra Rein
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Handicap conversion vehicles are usually the main method of transportation for most people with disabilities. Large and accessible to many types of wheelchairs and scooters, they are specially fitted to allow either handicapped drivers or passengers to travel with ease. Special technologies, such as powered lifts and hand controls, enhance the driving experience and give the owner independence and confidence.

Most handicap conversion vehicles are pre-manufactured by auto makers for the purpose of transporting persons in wheelchairs. However, these can range in price from $20,000 to $80,000, depending on the types of modified equipment installed. Because of this large price range, many people decide to also purchase a used or new "normal" van and custom convert it utilizing their choice of powered lifts and steering controls.

Steps to Take Before Purchasing Handicap Conversion Vehicles

Even though new advancements in steering, braking and gas pedal modifications have made the driving experience much easier for handicap people, there are still a few evaluations and education steps that must be taken care of before getting behind the wheel. An appointment with a rehabilitation specialist should be made in order to identify muscle strengths and ranges of motion, judgment-making abilities and whether or not the person is coordinated enough to handle the stresses of the road. A list of adaptive equipment will be made during this session, as well as what type of driver's education is required before obtaining a license to drive handicap conversion vehicles.

Once a qualified evaluator is met, a little research on the vehicles out there will help one select the best vehicle for the physical limitations and financial resources available. The vehicle must be able to accommodate the size and weight of the wheelchair, as well as any other passengers that will be normally included in a daily trip. Finally, figuring out whether or not there is adequate parking spots at home or work, with unhindered door and lift areas for loading and unloading, will help one avoid problems with parking in the future.

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