There is a common misconception that cars adapted for disabled drivers are boxy and unattractive, but with technology and innovative adjustments, disabled people can now drive a wide variety of luxury vehicles, including sports cars.
Adaptations ensure that disabled users can easily access cars, and provide a more comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. Here are some of the ways a sports car can be adapted for disabled use.
While speed and brakes are typically operated through pedals, one of the best adaptations for disabled drivers include fitting brake and accelerator controls to the steering wheel. These can be offered in push and pull form, or sensitive electronic touch controls, depending on the driver’s need. In addition, if steering is difficult for the driver, a knob may also be installed to help with turning, to allow joystick-style control.
Alternatively, where a driver has limited use of their arms, additional functions can be added to the foot controls. While an automatic gearbox may be helpful, further adaptions can be made, such as a left-foot accelerator, as well as foot controls for the indicators and horn. In addition, the placement of the handbrake may also be moved to the right-hand side or an easy-release handbrake installed.
For many wheelchair users, it can be very difficult to transfer to the driver’s seat – especially in a sports car where seats are typically much lower down. Turning seats can solve this problem, as with a rotating base, the seats swivel the driver to face the door frame, making it easier to get in and out of the car. There are also some adapted seats that offer sliding facilities, allowing the seat to partially exit the vehicle.
This option may be more limited on sports cars, as many are more compact in size, however, it may be possible to adapt a sports car with a hoist. These hoists are operated electronically and are designed to lift disabled users to and from a car. They are also very practical as they are designed to be worn while driving, making it easier for users to exit the vehicle when arriving at their destination.
Thanks to clever adaptations, disabled people can now drive some of the more luxurious cars on the road. That said, it is still a good idea to first check if and how it can be adapted for a disabled driver, before investing in a sports car.