Vehicle Modifications and Equipment
Some drivers are unable to operate standard vehicle controls due to a medical condition or injury. A wide range of modifications are available to compensate for most deficits. Rehab on Road aims to use modifications only where necessary and we start with the most simple and most cost effective modifications first to provide the solution required. In some cases it is possible to avoid the use of modifications by training in alternative driving techniques.
Standard Vehicle Modifications
The dual controlled vehicles used by Rehab on Road have modifications including a left foot accelerator, left and right hand controls, steering aids, mirror modifications and ergonomic aids.
Correct ergonomic set up of the vehicle is important when using modifications to avoid injury over time. This is addressed in the assessment. Seating aids, including lumbar supports, promote an optimum driving position and the use of gel or air cushions improves shock absorption for people experiencing acute pain. Driving techniques can also be taught to reduce the impact of pain on road.
Electromechanical Vehicle Modifications
In some cases high level vehicle modifications are required (eg. for someone with a high level spinal cord injury or loss of function / amputation of three limbs including both arms or some congenital conditions). Drivers with very limited upper limb function may require electromechanical technology. This can include driving with a satellite accelerator, over-ring accelerator, joystick or use of a mini-wheel steering wheel. Rehab on Road works with specialist vehicle modifiers in the use of this technology.
Assessment for Modifications
It is important that vehicle modifications are prescribed by a driver trained occupational therapist and installed by an engineer registered with the licensing authority. Driving with modifications that are incorrectly prescribed or fitted can be dangerous and illegal. The RMS requires modifications such as steering aids, hand controls and pedal adjustments to be fitted by an approved engineer and endorsed on the driver's license.
Drivers are usually required to attend an occupational therapy driving assessment for prescription of vehicle modifications. A training programme is usually required in a modified vehicle. In some cases an RMS Driving Test is required following retraining. Rehab on Road works with driving instructors, vehicle modifiers and equipment stockists to meet driver's needs. We refer to qualified engineers, registered with the licensing authority for fitting of modifications (see 'Links
RoR Vehicle Conversion & Modification Policy for Vehicle Converters / Modifiers and Equipment Providers
- The choice of equipment provider / modifier is completely dependent on the needs of the client and terms of reference of the third party insurer / funding body.
- The choice to purchase equipment or vehicle modifications is made by the funding body and not RoR. It is the role of RoR to provide information on the range of options that will facilitate independent and safe driving for the client. These options are fully explored for each client.
- A range of companies are approached and 2 to 3 quotations are provided for each modification / vehicle conversion to allow the funding body to see the options available in the marketplace.
- RoR does not show preferential treatment or loyalty to any particular brand, modifier or equipment provider as the focus is on the needs of the client.
- Allowing the client to view and try equipment in assessments or via a showroom visits greatly assists in choice of product to ensure the client's needs are met and is much appreciated. It does not imply obligation to select this product. Companies providing rehabilitation equipment and modifications are vital to return to independent driving and their expertise and advise is valued and appreciated.