My Experience With Hand Controls
I contacted a person who was approved for fitting hand controls. I knew that I needed to be able to drive my car, without my legs. On discussing my problem with him, and notifying him that I had already changed my car to an automatic, he said I should go for an assessment.
I had my hand controls fitted to my car the weekend prior to my assessment as I felt confident in knowing what I would require, and did not want to become immobile.
The hand controls shown are what is fitted except the ball on my steering wheel was fitted. I did not get on with this and on my assessment I drove a vehicle which had a tulip style ball. This I found to be much better as it prevented me rubbing my knuckles on the steering wheel as I turned it. After the assessment I had mine changed to the tulip style you can see here.
On my accelerator / brake stalk, the fitter told me he could have mounted an indicator switch. He did not fit it because if I had started using it, I would have had to remember to reset it manually after turning a corner. He said it was better to continue to use the stalk if possible, because it would reset automatically. I wish I had known and understood before I had the hand controls fitted as it is easier and cheaper to fit the indicator switch when the hand controls are fitted. I would have preferred the switch to be fitted so I could use it on occasions when it is awkward to use the stalk.
The hand controls I have fitted, seen here, pushing forward operates the brake and pulling back operates the accelerator. Large bunches of keys can obstruct the lever and make it dangerous. I have got round this problem by fitting my car key on a chain so my other keys are on the same bunch, but they hang safely below the ignition switch, clear of any mechanism. Remembering to check that my keys are always threaded between the accelerator cable and hanging perpendicular to the ignition switch.
I hope this is useful information to anyone reading it.
Gareth Relph from Waltham Cross fitted these controls, anyone wanting his number please contact this site. Local installers can be contacted by vehical dealers Motability sales staff.