Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 13

Thread: Choosing a car: Advice sought

  1. #1

    Choosing a car: Advice sought

    Living in NYC, owning a car is not only not a necessity, it's a liability. Parking is a major hassle and insurance rates are stupidly expensive. I haven't owned a car in about 15 years, and haven't driven in that long either (though I've maintained an active license). That last one was a '91 2-door Buick Regal (Yeah, baby!! Sweet ride. . OK, I'm just kidding, it was a dorky car).

    It looks like I'm going to be starting a new job in the fall and I'm going to need wheels to commute. For those of you that transfer into a car and pull your chair in behind you, what make and models are you using? Do you prefer a bench seat in the front (as opposed to bucket seats) so that you can transfer more easily out the either side of the car? Has anybody worked out a way to drive a 4-door and still manage to get their chair in easily?

    Learn me something, folks. And don't forget, I live in Metropolis, not the suburbs.

    Thanks!
    Last edited by stephen212; 07-16-2005 at 09:22 PM.

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by stephen212
    Living in NYC, owning a car is not only not a necessity, it's a liability. Parking is a major hassle and insurance rates are not stupidly expensive. I haven't owned one in about 15 years, and haven't driven in that long either (though I've maintained an active license). That last car was a '91 2-door Buick Regal (Yeah, baby!! Sweet ride. . OK, I'm just kidding, it was a dorky car).

    It looks like I'm going to start a new job in the fall which will require wheels to commute. For those of you that transfer into a car and pull your chair in behind you, what make and models are you using? Do you prefer a bench seat in the front (as opposed to bucket seats) so that you can transfer more easily out the either side of the car? Has anybody worked out a way to drive a 4-door and still manage to get their chair in unassisted?

    Learn me something, folks. And don't forget, I live in Metropolis, not the suburbs.

    Thanks!
    i drive a 4 door dodge intrepid, real easy.
    heres the link to me getting it out. if you a para youll be much faster, but you get the idea
    getting out
    http://carecure.org/forum/showthread...light=transfer
    getting in
    http://carecure.org/forum/showthread...light=transfer
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  3. #3
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    9,722
    The current generation Monte Carlos work great, I use one. Lots of room, door opens wide, and easy reaching of the wheel hubs of the chair without twirling it around. I havent met a 4 door that had good access to the chair hubs yet, even looking at the big cars like a DTS or such. Maybe if I had a smaller chair a 4 door would be less of a pain, but being 6'3" that isnt going to happen.

  4. #4
    IM 6'2 ANDY AND SQUEEZE INTO A 17W X 16 D, LOL, you could go quite a bit smaller if you wanted. a short 90 degree frt end chair is key if using a 4 door, imo
    Bike-on.com rep
    John@bike-on.com
    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
    sponsored handcycle racer

  5. #5
    Senior Member BeeBee's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
    Posts
    991
    My son's t12, drives a Vibe. Not attractive, but great for transfers and storage. He can breakdown and store or the chair fits perfectly in the back if someone's there to load for him. Great gas milage and small to park.
    BeeBee

  6. #6
    Suspended Andy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    9,722
    Quote Originally Posted by fuentejps
    IM 6'2 ANDY AND SQUEEZE INTO A 17W X 16 D, LOL, you could go quite a bit smaller if you wanted. a short 90 degree frt end chair is key if using a 4 door, imo
    I hear ya, but I am already doing 18x18 with a 85 degree front, and the hubs are hiding about 5 inches behind most back doors still. Now if I had a elbow that bent the opposite way it would be easy to reach the hubs without twirling the chair...

  7. #7
    I'm in the same boat. Haven't driven in 15 years, don't have a licence anymore and living downtown in winter with a car is a definite liability.

    However, I've transfered in and out of alot of different cars and the easiest transfer I've done is in a Subaru Forrester.

  8. #8
    I just got a Subaru Forrester for that reason, plus great visibility. Have only been a passenger so far but will get it adapted soon. Only then will I know how easy/difficult it is to put the chair in by myself. But for someone else putting it in, there is loads of space.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Norway
    Posts
    17,427
    Hello,

    The choice of a car depends on the injury level of the spinal cord you have and the function levels you have left. I can see you are Th4 complete. That should mean that you have pretty good strength in your upper body including the arms to help you with. And since your question is; “For those of you that transfer into a car and pull your chair behind you” I have some ideas.

    First: I have also an injury in my spinal cord from the Th4 (this also because of an avm) level but I guess I’m what some refers to as incomplete. For me this means that I am able to stand upright on my legs and walk a few yards with crutches. For longer transfers and in my daily life I have to use a wheelchair. The chair I have is a light one from Kuschall Design. My height is 6,2 Feet.

    When my problems started I had a BMW, the car had a manual transmission so I had to get rid of it. When I started to look for another car I made up table where I compared some cars I tested. I’m not listing the whole table here but for me I did find the Toyota RAV4 as a useful car in my situation. Below I am listing some of the key functions I needed for a new car and how those complied with the RAV4. I guess you can use the same approach for other cars;

    Getting in and out from the car:
    Works fine. The height from the ground up to the seat top is 27.50 Inches. This is great since I can just lift me up a little bit and slide over to the seat. I’m holding myself in the steering wheel and a handle just above the door. Since this car has this height also helps me when getting out since I don’t have to lift me up from the car and into the wheelchair. I just slide over when I’m going out of the car.

    Taking the wheelchair into the car from the drivers place:
    Works fine. I take of the foot rests on the wheelchair and put them on the floor on the passenger side and then lift up the chair and place it on the passenger seat.

    Adjustments of the driver’s seat:
    Enough options, works fine. No custom seat is necessary. (This is also possible if required).

    Support for the back:
    Good support for the back. No modifications necessary.

    Support for the thighs:
    Good support the whole way. No modifications necessary. (Some car seats can be to short and modifications can be required). The seats are also made of fabric not leather. This allows some breathing.

    Distance to the steering wheel:
    This car has a tilt but not telescope. When the driver seat and the steering wheel are adjusted I have a good and relaxed driver position and the telescope function is not required. (In some cars this can be a good option, depending on your driving position and the car).

    General driving position:
    Excellent driving position when seat and the tilt on the steering wheel are adjusted. The standard console between the front seats gives good support. (Since I have installed the hand gas and break arm on the right side of the steering wheel it also gives good support for the right arm. The only thing I had to do here was to put on a small pillow on top of the console to get the right relaxed angle for the arm to the gas and break arm). The legs and the knees do not come close to sharp edges etc. Good space for the legs. It is also easy to reach the windshield to wipe of debris etc.

    Roof height:
    Good.

    Reaching for the instrument switches and radio/cd:
    Good.

    Air-conditioning system:
    Works fine.

    View:
    Good view around the whole car except some spots behind. I can also see the whole hood and the two corners in the front of the car in a normal driving position. I don’t have to push me up by the steering wheel do this and that is great for parking the car etc.

    Placing of goods and the wheelchair through the back door:
    Since I am able to stand on my legs I have also one option to put the wheelchair here. I seldom do it because it is very difficult to do. When I do it I hold my hands on the rails on the top of the car when I “walk” to the driver seat after placing the chair. When I have other family members or other peoples with me they (lucky me) always place the chair here. The other good thing is that he back door is opened from the side of the car where the driver position is (don’t have to walk around the door). There are also some hooks back here that are good for hanging up grocery bags after shopping.

    Driving and turning radius:
    Easy to drive. Some tire noise, but I can live with it. Turning radius just 5.8 Yards – this makes the car easy to drive in cities. Easy to park. The 4WD makes it perfect on winter roads. It reduces the risk to get stuck regardless if it is snow problems or other problems (this is good to know especially with SCI problems).

    Dimensions:
    This is a light SUV. This is good for parking etc.

    Fill up of gasoline:
    The lid is on the driver side which makes it easy since I can do it be using the crutches or by holding myself to the rails on top of the car and the gas pumps (I don’t have to relay on nobody). “For left side driving countries this maybe will not be true”.

    Are modifications necessary:
    No major modifications are necessary. For this car I only need a gas/break arm installed. It is of type Handycare 3025.

    Conclusion:
    This car will do the job for me. And it has, I have had it for three years now and all evaluations I did upfront paid off.

    As I said in the start of my post, this was basically how I did it when I was going to have a car that could do the job for me. I guess there is many ways to do the evaluations and there are also many cars that can do the job. It is just to find one that can do the job for you.

    Maybe I did write too much here but hopes it helps and can give some more good ideas for you



    Leif

    PS. Always remember the cell phone when out drving just in case

  10. #10

    Bucket seats vs. Bench seating

    Thanks for all the replies so far. I was hoping that some of you would respond to my question about choosing a car with bucket seats vs. bench seats.

    It seems that the overwhelming majority of new cars favor bucket seating. They may be more comfortable, but if you have to exit out of the opposite side of the car (I never transfer from car to sidewalk, only car to street level), hurdling over the center console is a hassle -- not to mention the danger of getting sodomized by the gear shift.

    Discuss. I'll listen.

    Thanks,
    Stephen

Similar Threads

  1. hand cycle advice sought
    By dw in forum Recreation, Sports, Travel, & Hobbies
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 12-22-2007, 04:18 PM
  2. Replies: 3
    Last Post: 03-23-2003, 09:12 AM
  3. The Miami Project Provides Donation Advice That Can Benefit Donors and Recipients
    By antiquity in forum Funding, Legislation, & Advocacy
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-20-2002, 08:17 AM
  4. Advice?
    By w_c_armstrong in forum Pain
    Replies: 20
    Last Post: 01-24-2002, 06:12 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •