As a wheelchair user, one of the questions I often get asked is: “Do you drive?” Followed closely by: “How do you drive?” Of course, I can drive. Wheelchair users have been driving for years. So, I want to show you how I easily transfer into the car, place my chair in the car, and manage the hand controls.
Andy Houghton: One of the most commonly asked questions of me is how do you drive? How do you press the gas? How do you press the brake? Worse yet, some people even think, you know, can you drive?
I mean, in today’s society, of course people can drive. We’ve been driving for years. I drive a Honda Crosstour. The car is set up so it’s like an SUV. If I’m traveling with somebody – that’s Paul. Cameraman, editor, all around good guy – they’re able to just put my wheelchair right in the back, close the hatch, boom, and we take off. So that makes it a little bit easier. Today I’m going to show you how I get in my car and how the hand controls work. So here we go.
I just pull up to the car, very simply. It’s raining out. I’m doing this very quickly. I put my right foot in, my left foot in. Do the hokey pokey. Take my cushion off. Right wheel off. Quick release button. Very well designed. Makes it easy for anyone to put the wheels on and off at any time. Then I grab my chair right here. One hand in the back, one underneath. Set it just like that. Put the cushion on top and there you go.
Okay, so here is the hand control mechanism. It’s a simple rod fixed to the gas and the brake, and then attached to the steering column. You grab the handle, push for the brake, press down for the gas. It is very simple.
Today I was able to show you exactly how I get in and out of the car and how I drive, how the hand controls work, and how easy it is to take the wheels off and on in my chair.
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