|"Adaptive devices to make driving easier"
Shelley Peterman Schwarz
This month we bring you another feature provided by Shelley Peterman Schwarz.
Shelley Peterman Schwarz is an award-winning author, TV personality, self-syndicated columnist, motivational speaker, Internet radio host, and teleclass instructor who offers practical tips and strategies for living well despite chronic illness and disabilities.
For more than 20 years, Shelley has been using her personal journey living with multiple sclerosis and her professional training as a special education teacher to help others cope with life's challenges. You can visit Shelley's web site at www.MakingLifeEasier.com.
Categories: Automotive Mobility
Adaptive devices to make driving easier
We all remember the day we got our driver’s license because of the freedom and independence it represented. Today, more than ever, driving is an essential activity in our fast-paced, mobile society. When limitations disrupt our ability to drive safely, it can jeopardize everything from getting to work to running errands. However, before you hang up your keys in the face of your driving challenges, you may find it helpful to learn about products that make getting out and about easier.
Adaptive Key Devices fit on your regular key and give better leverage to make turning keys easier. Hardware stores and home healthcare stores have different styles from which to choose. Be sure to try them first to see which works best for you. One device, the “Key Holder” is a large ergonomically-designed handle which holds a key in position to offer maximum leverage. It holds up to 2 straight metal keys (for house or auto), which fold away into the curved handle when not in use. Check out this and other handy driving aids at www.dynamic-living.com. About $8
An Automatic Car Starter/Keyless Entry System might be helpful if you have difficulty using keys. Install on any automatic transmission/fuel injection vehicle and you can lock/unlock, or start your car from up to 2500 feet away. Check with your local auto alarm dealer or order from www.CommandoAlarms.com. Cost $65 and up
If the turn signal is on the wrong side for you to operate, a right hand turn signal extension is a lightweight crossover lever that operates your turn signals easily. These and similar adaptive driving aids are installed by a dealer using bands, not screws so it leaves your vehicle's interior in its original condition. Meets or exceeds VA specifications. For a dealer near you, contact www.MobilityProductsDesign.com. Prices start about $80
Trouble with your peripheral vision or turning your head? Install panoramic or wide-angle rear and side view mirrors to widen your view. By using the regular and wide angle mirrors together, you’ll have greater visibility and won’t have to turn your neck as much. Some mirrors have double sided tape on the back of them so they're easy to install; others attach with screws. Check your local automotive department or order from www.autosportcatalog.com. Cost: $20-$30
And don’t forget safety on your home driveway—Get a better view of what’s behind you when backing out of your garage or driveway with a Driveway Mirror. Similar to those large, round, security mirrors you see in stores or in parking structures to see around corners, this large, convex mirror is mounted on the side of your garage or house to give you a wide angle view of your driveway, children and their toys. Lightweight and break-resistant, the mirror installs easily with mounting bracket included; built-in visor reduces glare from outside lights. Look for these in the automotive section or order from www.autosportcatalog.com. Cost: $30
For added safety when backing up, install a “Back-Up Alert" warning alarm and light. Just replace one of the backup lights in your light truck, RV, car, or van with this combination beeper and taillight. Whenever your vehicle is in reverse, it will automatically emit a continuous beeping sound. Installation is as easy a changing a light bulb and the device is guaranteed for as long as you own your car. Ask about this item at your local automotive department or order from www.drivingcomfort.com. Cost: $30-40
See what is behind you, with an easy-to-install backup camera that mounts to your rear license plate and sends a wireless video signal to a 2-1/2” color monitor that you position on your dashboard or sun visor. Easy do-it-yourself installation. Check your local automotive department for availability. About $100.
Trouble managing your seatbelt? Use a seatbelt extender, a piece of seatbelt material about 8" long with a buckle on the end of it that clicks into the existing seat belt. Originally designed to provide extra room for larger (over 215 pounds) drivers and passengers, it makes the seatbelt easier to grasp, pull, and buckle for people with arm, shoulder or strength limitations. Unfortunately, seatbelt extenders are not a universal fit and some car models do not even offer the device. Some dealers will include the extender when you purchase a new car. Contact your car dealership to see if there is a seatbelt extender for the car you drive.
If you have additional questions, send an email to Shelley@makingLifeEasier.com and we’ll do our best to help you find the answer.
Visit www.MakingLifeEasier.com to sign up to receive her free inspirational E-zine. While you are there, listen to her weekly Making Life Easier Internet radio program, where Shelley and a guest discuss the lessons learned and wisdom gained living with chronic illness, disability, and age-related limitations.
You’ll also find descriptions of Shelley’s books which you will find at your local bookstore or may order directly from the publisher:
Demos Medical Publishing – www.DemosMedPub.com
Tips for Making Life Easier with Arthritis
Tips for Making Life Easier with Multiple Sclerosis
Tips for Making Life Easier with Parkinson’s Disease
The Attainment Company – www.AttainmentCompany.com
Memory Tips for Making Life Easier
Dressing Tips and Clothing Resources for Making Life Easier
Organizing Your IEPs