It is World MS Day and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society is encouraging you to share what MS means to you! To us it means strength, courage, overcoming difficulties and patience with the unpredictable challenges that come along the way in daily life. As an auto retailer, when we think of daily life, we think of driving – whether wheelchair vans or a standard vehicle – so we wanted to talk about ways to overcome obstacles to keep driving as a part of daily life when you have MS.
If you have Multiple Sclerosis, you know how the symptoms can limit your day to day activity. Getting behind the wheel of a car can seem daunting, but it is a valuable part of your mobility and independence. The range of visual side effects, unusual fatigue, muscle cramps, and other problems can all make driving uncomfortable and sometimes dangerous. Due to these symptoms, special equipment or accommodations can aid you in safely operating a vehicle.
According to the Association for Driver Rehabilitation Specialists [http://www.driver-ed.org/], you should pay attention to any visual, physical, or mental changes that may affect your ability to drive.
Here are a few general tips:
- Be careful driving at night, wear sunglasses during the day to help with glare sensitivity.
- To combat color vision impairment, you can learn the order of the traffic signals.
- If you suffer from memory loss, limit yourself to familiar routes.
- Conserve your energy before a drive and don’t drive when sleepy or just before/after taking your medications.
For the majority of people with MS, the disease is no obstacle to safe driving. However, it is important to get an evaluation of your driving abilities and limitations, adhere to the legal restrictions, and access help from family, friends, and governmental sources.
Our wheelchair vans are equipped with an number of useful features that accommodate drivers with MS. Special mirrors can help compensate for loss of peripheral vision and trouble turning your head and reduced-effort steering and braking systems can help those with muscles weakness.
Lifts and ramps streamline the entry and exit process, and if you have serious weakness or numbness of the lower extremities, you can navigate with hand controls. To hear more about our variety of vans and conversions, give us a call! You deserve access the mobility you desire, regardless of your MS.
What precautions do you take to drive with MS? Do you have any tips for accommodating the symptoms you experience?