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Thread: Driving?

  1. #1


    I have never driven, my van has a lift but not set up for me to drive. I never had a desire to drive, but lately I really think it would be a great blessing if I could drive.

    What is the first step in adapting my van? And someone mentioned that there's some organization for financial help for the costs of modifying a van for sci. Does anyone know of anything like this?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    The biggest expense is out of the way since you have the lift. Now all you need to do is decide whether you want to drive from your chair or transfer to the seat. If you decide to drive from your chair,you'll need and EZLock installed in the floor. This is to secure your chair. A bracket will be needed on the bottom of your chair as well. You're probably looking at about $2000-$2500. Some people that transfer end up getting a 7 way swivel-seat. I don't know the details or price range of that though.

    Check w/ your Dept. of Rehab Services abouthelping w/ the cost. However, myexperience is that they'll only contribute if you currently work f/t or are in the process of college and will promise to be working f/t in the near future. Other than that, I know of no other funding.

    As for driving, I say hell yea!It's nice to have independence and it sure beats being tied down in the back or passengers side. It will definately give you a sense of pride and the freedom to be in control as well as making life less complicated....

    Good luck w/ the cost and adaptations. Hell, atleast you aren't looking at the big bucks it cost for lowering and a ramp. You're lucky.

    Keep us posted!

    re edit: You'll also need handles controls-duh, no legs!. I forgot the round-a-bout costs, but they aren't much I think.
    You should also attend some rehab for driving.DRS paid for my eval and training.

  3. #3
    Thank you for your reply. I would want to drive from my power chair, the problem I see is I'm tall and my van top looks too short in the front for me, it has a raised top but it drops down in the front, not sure if there's a simple way around that. Also I would need the door to be set up to open from the inside, not sure on that cost but won't give up on this, driving will be great

  4. #4
    With the EZ lock installed can the van chair be popped back in if able bodied people want to drive it?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Yes, I didn't think of the costs of the electronics to be able to open your doors. You didn't list your level of function in your profile. That also comes into play as far as electroinics are concerned.

    It sounds as if your floor pan may need to be lowered after all. Good thing is that Braun offers a 10 year loan if you go throgh them. I financed my van, controls, everything w/ them.Yes,10 years is a long time, but I was eager for the indepedence!

    It also may be more feesible/sensible to trade your current ride in for a van that's already equipped.

    I suggest having an eval done through DRS or a local Independent Lifestyles organization that aids in the driving for the disable. That would be my first step(was my 1st step).

    Re edit: there are also little things like automatic wipers , how it will get started, steering, etc.if your hands don't function properly and depending on your level @ that.. I heard that Joni Eareckson Tada drives from the controller on her chair-wow!?!( I think she's like c-4/5)I guess it's more than I led you to believe in the original post-ooops.
    Last edited by quad79; 01-24-2008 at 01:17 PM.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by abacoian
    With the EZ lock installed can the van chair be popped back in if able bodied people want to drive it?
    Yes it can.

  7. #7
    I appreciate your help. Does Braun have a web-site? My injury is C2 but incomplete, my right side is stronger.

  8. #8

  9. #9
    I want those automatic wipers! It's such a pain when I'm on the freeway to pull over but it is safer. I guess if it rained more here I would have done it by now but that will be my next purchase. abacoian I have a minivan with a VMI system, drive if you can
    Embrace uncertainty. Hard problems rarely have easy solutions. Jonah Lehrer

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Hand controls run around $1000 - $1200. You also need to look into the requirements the Dept of Motor Vehicles has. They are different in every state. Varying from nothing to being trained with hand controls and tested/certified by the DMV. There was quite a wait (backlog) in my state, and took me a while from " thinkg about it " to actually getting trained and tested. So at least look into that part soon as well.
    T7-8 since Feb 2005

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