Vehicle Mechanical Query

Discussion in 'Not Sure Where it Goes' started by Ina I. Wonder, Jun 15, 2017.

  1. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    I need some opinions and or information from people that might have some knowledge in converting my 2015 KIA Sportage's foot controls to hand controls. I know that many paraplegics drive vehicles with hand controls, and I've heard that some convert their own cars, trucks, or vans instead buying something new.

    I have no idea of the cost of converting my KIA to a totally hand driving system. Do any of you have a ball park idea of the cost to purchase and installed such a system? I was also wondering how much upper body and hand strength would be necessary to drive such a system? If there are many types of hand control systems, what attributes should I be looking for in a system, and what kind of defects should I lookout for? One more question, how would I go about learning to drive my car with hand controls after installation?

    What do they even call such a device? I feel that if I could get some baseline ideas and answers to my concerns, it would help me when I started looking around. I'll be grateful for any and all suggestions. :)
     
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  2. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ina I. Wonder
    I know it's done. Likely specialized on a few chosen vehicles. Conversion of one not chosen, dubious. "Chosen"? Those having been accepted by legislation.

    It may be possible by now, that certain manufacturers of vehicles offer such conversions for sale, but not conversions of prior-produced vehicles, only as newly-sold vehicles.

    This is a difficult to solve puzzle.
    Frank
     
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  3. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Good luck Ina, here is a link on hand controls. (2008, so may be out dated info)
     
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    Last edited: Jun 16, 2017
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  4. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    What about the possibility of doing something similar to what @Lon Tanner does, and just using Uber to go places ? Since you are not driving long distances anymore, this could actually save you a lot of money that you spend on car insurance, vehicle maintainence, and definitely on the cost of modifying your Sportage to hand operations system.
    It sounds to me like you are also concerned about having enough hand strength to drive; so even that modification might be only temporary.
    Plus.... with your having seizures, there is always the question of whether it is safe for you to drive at all.
    Personally, I have thought about what I would do if something were to happen to Bobby and I had to live alone. I am terrified of my old clunker breaking down on me somewhere and I would be stranded. I already do not drive very far from home, and for this very reason.

    We have a van here called the "Handi-ride" and it is somewhere between a bus and a taxi that is especially for the handicapped people to use. Our friend, @Joyce Mcgregor uses Handiride when she needs transportation, and I think that this is what I would do also if driving became a problem.
    Possibly, you might have something similar in Houston, and you could try testing it out if they do have it, or using Uber, and seeing how well that would work for your needs ?
    Then, if it looked like that might be a better option than spending a lot of money either modifying your Kia or buying a vehicle specifically for handicapped driving, you could sell your car and not have all of the problems you are having right now.

    Both Kroger and Walmart have online shopping where you can order online and just drive through and pick up the groceries and not even need to get out of the vehicle, and it is free to do this. If all you had to do was use Uber to make a grocery run and pick up the groceries and back home again, it would only be a short trip, as opposed to going shopping at the store and wandering around for an hour or so.
    Anyway, just another option for you to consider.....
     
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  5. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    @Frank Sanoica , you bring up a couple good points for me to check out. First, is my car one of those that can be converted, and second, if the car can be retrofitted, do only certain distributors install these systems.

    @Joe Riley , I found your article very informative. It answered several questions I didn't even know to ask. The article also gave me the proper terminology and wordage to use in my searches. The article came out in 2008, so hopefully the way the apparatus attaches hasn't changed that much. If I'm lucky, I'll be able to put the need for such a product off for a good while.

    @Yvonne Smith , I've seen such public transportation for seniors and the disabled around Houston, but not in my part of the area. There isn't even a bus stop anywhere near me. I think the nearest one is a good seven miles or more away. As far as Uber or other forms of taxi services go, I have to agree to a base price of $50.00 just to get them to show up at my door. At least it was still that way four years ago, when our car wouldn't start one day and Michael had to make an appointment at the VA, or wait another month or so to get another appointment scheduled.

    I think I've mentioned that I do most actives in the early part of the day, generally before 2:00, and then I stay in the house afterwards. For some reason I've never had a seizure in the early part of my day, and I've had them since I received the blow to my frontal lobe when I was seven. I have gone up to ten years at a time without having any seizures, and when I do start having them it is just a matter of getting the proper dosage set. The strength and duration of the meds are needed depends on my monthly blood tests.

    I've been driving on a daily bases since I married at 13, and I've never had a ticket or accident in my 52 years of driving, knock on wood. I put many stipulations on when I allow myself to drive.

    Thanks everyone. At least now I have some good basic information with which to work.
     
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