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How to Gain Independence With Hand Controls

How to Gain Driver Independence With Hand Controls

Product: Freedom Staff 2.0 Handicap Driving Hand Controls Upgraded Version

Price: $ 269.00

Size: Handle measures: 13 inches wide

Weight capacity: Less than 3 LBs

Cheapest Place to Buy:

Warranty: Check with Company

Rating: 8 out of 10

Introduction

Is The Freedom Staff Hand Controls for disabled drivers right for you?

Imagine being disabled and not being able to use your legs to control the brake and gas pedals of a car. But what if  you want to drive a car other than one that has not been custom modified? Have you wondered how to gain driver independence with hand controls?

Drive With Independence

Perhaps you have been eyeing The Freedom Staff Hand Controls For Disabled drivers and thinking about buying it, right?

Picture of a Man Using Hand Controls to Drive Car
What Hand Controls For Driving look Like

Restoring Dignity

Consider this situation. You have MS from the waist down. Your vision is fine and  your mind still sharp, arms, ect. You just need hand controls to use instead of your legs. In the past you might have had no choice but to try your city’s department  of transportation, but you would’ve gotten the runaround because they didn’t work with individuals. They probably would’ve told you to take the bus. You might have tried other organizations that work with the disabled and encountered  a lot of red tape. The Freedom Staff makes access to portable hand controls easy, and I think that’s a good thing.

Maybe you really miss driving and you like being independent which driving gives you.

Photo of a Woman Driving a Car
The Freedom of Driving

 

I mean you could take the bus, but the damn bus stops can be too hot or too cold in the winter.Taxi’s cost too much. So saving big bucks by doing your own driving seems like a great option.

Photo of Woman Waiting at Bus Stop
Woman Waiting at Bus Stop

But before you buy The Freedom Staff Controls For Disabled drivers,  take a minute and read my review. As you’ll find out, this driver assisted tool isn’t for everyone…

First off, let me cover the good points of this device:

  • It’s a Freedom Staff product. This company is all about developing products that make it possible for for anyone with physical  challenges to drive themselves and take back their independence. So, you know they have very good intensions.
  • The Freedom Staff can, according to it’s makers, literally travel with you, from vehicle to vehicle. It can be quickly installed in any automobile with an automatic transmission, no tools necessary. It can even be packed and stowed when not needed.
  • The design allows the user to easily handle the steering wheel with one hand while operating the hand control device with the other hand.
  • Freedom Staff handles are easy to install using the included strap that slides over the steering column to stabilize the controls in position. This system of portable hand control will give you the best chance of driving  your own car without adapting completed  driving techniques.
    Sounds good so far, right? But there are a couple downsides to this portable hand controls system. Namely:
  • The part that works with the steering column is not attached to the column. This means that you’ll have to handle the steering wheel with one hand while operating the hand control device with the other hand.
  • There’s no control for just the accelerator. There are two poles that go to the accelerator and brake. It’s made, according to the manufacture, for you to use the control and accelerate by gently pulling the lever and to brake by gently pushing the lever toward the floor.

Product Features:

  • Portable with small carry bag included
  • Aircraft grade aluminum, stainless steel hardware.
  • Brake adjusts: 22-30 inches
  • Accelerator adjusts: 19-1/2-26-3/4 inches

Pros:

  • Use with any vehicle with an automatic transmission
  • Easy push and pull operation
  • Simple and quick installation—No tools required
  •   Adjust length to suit your needs
  • Does not attach to steering wheel. Most people find this very convenient

Cons:

  • Does not  attach to steering wheel. Some people found this a concern.

A Better Understanding of  The Hand Controls

One last note about the hand controls. Often people ask when do they really need them. Below is a typical scenario.

QShould I use Hand Controls? This is a scenario where one has been driving for years using his or her right leg, but sometimes misses the brake pedals.  They drive leaving lots of space so that if they do miss the brake pedal they have time to find it before needing to  stop. The question then becomes whether or not they should use hand controls.

A: Find a local driving evaluator and take a test drive with them. They typically have a vehicle set up with different types of controls for you to try.

They will help you figure out what works best for your needs and get you properly licensed to drive with hand controls if your state requires it. If you have no trouble with reaching the brake pedals, you might only need the hand controls.

Conclusion

I understand the importance of disabled people doing everything to live independent lives. In fact, my recent posts have addressed the issue of mobility aids around the house.  I also wrote about standing aids that will prevent one from falling. That said, I have always told my readers that the information on this site is not a substitute  for doctor’s advice. As such, one should always seek medical advice before engaging in any change of routine. Also, as stated earlier, it would be wise to find a driving evaluator to help you answer what are the best car mobility aids for you.

Having said that, this is an awesome opportunity for you to gain the independence to drive your own car.Now there’s only one thing to ask yourself. How long are you going to put up with not being able to drive yourself when and where you please. Get  your driver independence  here.

Learn to be more mobile so that you can become independent.           

 

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I like to hear from the readers so please leave me a comment below to let me know if this post helped you or if you have any questions.

 

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8 thoughts on “How to Gain Independence With Hand Controls

  1. Peter stated the issue very eloquently. I too was moved by the story of the doctor and the paraplegic. I also agree with Peter that your post shows a lot of heart. Great job!

    1. Thank you Erin. It’s always nice to know that my readers feel I am delivering value to them. Your comment has encouraged me to keep writing informative and what I would like to consider actionable steps to live a life of less pain and more joy.

  2. I have a friend who is a paraplegic so I’m always interested in reading stories about mobility issues concerning the disabled. I recently read this entry from a doctor who had fractured his ankle and decided to get a scooter as a way of regaining mobility. He said:

    This experience makes me think of a lady I met years ago in Oregon who is paraplegic and enjoys riding horses. She has only partial use of one hand to hold the reins; however, she rides in the Cascades alone, strapped in a saddle with a cantle that goes up to her head, on a gentle horse. I frowned when she first told me this. I thought she was taking an unnecessary risk, and I told her so.
    “Dr. Miller,” she said, “how can I make you understand what it means to me, a completely dependent person, to be able to go into the forest alone, to hear the birds, to find a waterfall?”
    I didn’t understand then, but I do now.

    Most people are like Dr. Miller. They don’t understand what a life changing event it is for a disabled person to achieve the freedom of mobility. They can’t get past the disability. I think your post has heart. It’s obvious you’re not out there to just push products but have really concern for the people who would use those products. I’m going to tell my friend about this post.

    1. Peter,
      I was moved and honored that you would take the time to give such a thoughtful response. Yes, unfortunately even people who should know better, like doctors, at times don’t see past a person’s disability. Your wonderful story about the doctor and the paraplegic is a great example of what happens when we all make the effort to see beyond our follow human beings disabilities.

  3. Some states I guess go out of their way to make it as easy as possible for people to, as you say, gain independence with hand controls. Not so with my state Michigan. They make it really hard to get your license. I have a friend who went through the process. You have to have your doctor fill out a paper. Mail it to the state and then they set you up with the city to go and take a written test, eye test, road test. You have to make sure you can bring a licensed driver with you. (In case you fail you have to forfeit your license on the spot.) I just shake my head at what they made him go through.

    That said, I enjoyed your post. I really liked the videos. My friend hurt his back and walks on crutches so his disability isn’t as extreme as that shown on the video. Nevertheless, I feel that the post with the second video–and Chris really seemed happy to have the hand controls–is a good reminder that the disabled need not be dependent on others to drive.

    1. Hi Andrew,
      I’m sorry that Michigan makes the process of getting a license to use hand controls so difficult. That said, I’m glad your friend was able to get through it and now has his car independence. I agree with you that the video with Chris is heart warming. To see him, a quadriplegic, drive himself really made me happy. I think a product like the Freedom Staff handicap hand controls can help a lot of people like Chris.

  4. Very interesting article. If I understand you correctly, hand control systems do not interfere with standard driving, and the vehicle can be driven by people not using the hand controls without having to remove them from the vehicle. But do different states have different regulations? I assume they do.

    1. Hi Hector,
      You’re right. Each state has different regulations concerning hand control usage. You may be asked to complete a course or verification training for your mobility. Some states have adaptive driving training courses. Other states only require a current driver’s license. Best thing to do is to your local DMV department for the most current information for your state. Here in New York state, where I live, the state really tries to work with different agencies and dealers to make it as easy as possible for people to understand and be able to use hand controls for their cars.

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