Just as those without disabilities must study and practice for a driver’s exam in order to pass it, so too, must disabled persons practice and study.
Today, disabled driving is a very real possibility as there are now more wheelchair vans and other types of vehicles with special modifications to aid those who have mobility issues.
STEP #1 – Take a written driver’s exam.
Anyone who is interested in obtaining a driver’s license, regardless of whether he/she has a disability or not, must take and pass a written exam in order to obtain a driving ‘learner’s permit’ that allows them to practice driving. While you have a driver’s permit, there are certain restrictions placed on you as to what time of day you may be allowed to drive as well as whether or not you need a supervised, licensed driver to drive with you. While it is not mandatory, it is highly advisable to enroll in a driver’s education course or practice with a certified driving instructor to help you learn the correct driving etiquette and form.
STEP #2 – Practice driving in a vehicle similar to the one you will eventually use.
For handicap drivers, this means making sure that any special vehicle modifications that you need are in place, from hand controls to wheelchair ramps to braking controls. Remember that you will need to demonstrate your ability to control a vehicle to the driving instructor to prove that you not only know how to safely operate your modified vehicle – but that you are able to do so with full, demonstrated knowledge of the rules of the road and regard to others’ safety.
STEP #3 – Register for disabled driving lessons.
When practicing for a driver’s road exam, it would behoove you to attend a driving center that provides lessons for disabled persons. Typically, these kinds of driving centers will also have a variety of vehicles that are generally equipped to handle different types of wheelchairs, ramps and other handicap accessories/modifications to suit your specific disability and allow you to properly and safely operate the vehicle.
Finally, you’ll want to make sure that you thoroughly review the rules and regulations regarding disabled driving, according to the state/area that you live in. There are numerous laws and regulations that have since been put into place that protect disabled drivers/persons from being discriminated against. To find out more about increasing your mobility by customizing your wheelchair van, contact Van Products today, and we’ll gladly put you in touch with one of our mobility specialists!