I did a lot of research in order to help you to understand which are the best cars for handicapped drivers, and you will find here all the information that you need.
Many people with disabilities in America use a vehicle adapted for mobility needs, whether they have a driver’s license or are driven by a caregiver or family member. These are large and spacious vehicles that in most cases require personal adaptation to the needs and specific limitations of each disabled person.
The most popular and best cars for handicapped drivers are the Minivans.
I have included the most popular cars including the minivans in this article.
A bit background first
What are the considerations for purchasing a vehicle for a disabled person?
Every disabled person has his own special requirements and needs.
When choosing a vehicle, you need to find out what these needs and requirements are.
The requirements for the right vehicle and the right accessories include answering questions such as – what are the recognized financial benefits for the disabled person for purchasing the vehicle? Does the disabled person is in a wheelchair? Can he move from the wheelchair to the driver’s seat? What changes does he need in the car regarding Auxiliary driving aids (brake booster, manual control only, etc.) in order to drive the vehicle?
Entrance to the car
The first question to ask is whether the disabled person is capable of moving independently to the driver’s seat. If so, the disabled person might be interested in a private car which he can adjust with special accessories according to his own special needs, if not, it is possible to purchase a van vehicle suitable for driving in a wheelchair.
The vans are divided into those with a sloping ramp in which the vehicle’s chassis has been modified to accommodate the height of the wheelchair.
A sloping ramp is suitable for those with particularly strong hands or for a motorized wheelchair.
The second type is equipped with an elevator and is the type usually bought.
Storage space for the wheelchair
If a person moves with a wheelchair and is able to move independently from the wheelchair to the driver’s seat, then the important parameter is storage space for the wheelchair.
A wheelchair can be stored in the trunk or on the roof.
It is important to remember that the wheelchair storage in the trunk requires a vehicle with a large enough luggage compartment for the full chair, leaving little room for additional storage, while roof storage by means of a flyer can limit the height of the car in the parking lot.
Vehicle accessories are made after purchase and most vehicles can be adapted to these storage requirements!
Choosing safe tires for handicapped’s vehicles
Like I have mentioned Some of the needs of the vehicle will include the installation of an elevator, which
allows the lifting of a wheelchair or the installation of handles or the installation of brake and acceleration pedals, steering systems for steering and installation of additional accessories designed to facilitate the disabled driving or sitting in the vehicle.
In many cases, the disabled purchase a large and massive vehicle, which is why there is another important point to put emphasis on, it is the subject of the tires of the disabled vehicle.
I will provide an explanation of the importance of selecting tires for cars and selecting tires suitable for disabled vehicles.
Customized car tires
Car tires directly affect the grip of the road and all performance of the vehicle while driving.
It is important to choose a tire that is safe and suitable for all systems in the vehicle itself, especially for the vehicle’s steering and braking system.
In addition, it is important to take care of the proper tire pressure, which is an important issue in itself, which many people do not give enough importance.
Due to the very heavy and Massive vehicles of the disabled, more emphasis should be placed on the tires which must be of high quality and to make sure that they meet all the required standards.
It is advisable to consult with an expert in the selection, it is definitely a decision that will affect the stability of the vehicle, quality and driving experience.
It will also affect the general “health” of the vehicle and the efficient functioning of the steering system and the brakes during all the year.
It is also important to remember that a high-quality tire is less heat-resistant and is maintained over time and in many cases, it is possible to identify a significant improvement in the cost of fuel consumption.
Tires propriety check
It is important to do some tests for the disabled vehicle regularly, it is important to check the tires and make sure every few days that the pressure of the air tire is normal and according to all the manufacturer’s instructions.
I emphasize that in the event of air pressure, the best indication of the safety of the trip and of all performance of the vehicle on the road, as well as the fuel consumption and the distance of braking of the vehicle and the holding of the vehicle on the road can be obtained.
In the vehicles of disabled people who are considered to be very powerful and massive vehicles, the tire has a far greater importance than a regular vehicle.
Therefore, it is recommended to turn to a professional company that understands vehicles for the handicapped and recognizes the importance of tires in these vehicles, which will recommend the choice of the safest and high-quality tires, According to its weight, according to the nature of driving, needs, and vehicle usage.
best cars for handicapped drivers
In order to answer that, I have divided my list into 4 categories, it is impossible to answer which car is the best as it depends on the special needs of the handicapped person, his financial condition and his personal preference, however, I have added the most popular and trustable models for each category.
Van vehicles for the handicapped
Van vehicles are large, spacious vehicles that are most often used by the disabled for transportation, but also for private use.
These large models, such as Volkswagen Transporter, Citroen Jumpy, Mercedes Vito, Ford Econoline, Ford Transit, Chevrolet Savana, Ford uplander, Chrysler Voyager and Kia Carnival, make it easy to get in and out of the car with a special lift and are the most popular in this category.
In addition, driving the vehicles is possible on the wheelchair being anchored and securely connected to the floor of the vehicle, or through a special six-seat chair.
This is a chair that moves on the center of the car and allows a comfortable transition from the wheelchair to the seat.
In addition, these vehicles allow the disabled person to drive using a manual mechanism for operating the gas and brakes, driving with an electric steering wheel or any other driving accessory required for their limitations.
Minivan vehicles for handicapped
Mini-van vehicles are the most preferred type of disabled people.
This is due to a large and spacious space similar to the large van, combined with a compact structure that can be easily managed with a vehicle similar to a private car.
In addition, minivan cars can be entered and exited with the help of an elevator or an electric ramp, and they have a large space for storing a wheelchair.
These vehicles allow the disabled person to drive comfortably on the driver’s seat or in a wheelchair, and in some cases, there is also the possibility of transporting disabled people sitting in wheelchairs.
It should be noted that a reduction can be made to create a larger interior space in the vehicle and to reduce the steepness of the entrance ramp.
The most popular minivan models are the Dodge Grand Caravan, Chrysler Town & Country and Pacifica, Toyota Sienna, Honda Odyssey, Ford Galaxie and Mazda 5.
The choice of the vehicle is important to make sure that it is easy to drive and easy to rotate and control.
Private cars and SUVs which are adapted for the disabled
Driving a vehicle or a private vehicle such as a Ford Focus is also possible for the disabled, who can move with the wheelchair to the car seat without assistance, and knowing that the condition of disability is stable and should not worsen over the years.
In addition, in most cases, a special lever is required to put the wheelchair in the trunk or to store it in the car on the roof of the vehicle.
In addition, private vehicles and SUV vehicles it is possible to install special mechanisms adapted to the needs of the disabled, such as a left-hand pedal, full manual driving mechanism, and even an electric driving system.
This is in addition to installing a removable passenger seat in front of the front seat, allowing safe and convenient car access.
The most popular vehicle in this category for wheelchair adaptability is the Renault Kangoo.
I also received great recommendations from disabled people who own the Subaru Forester as their SUV.
Basically, any private car can fit a disabled person on this category as long as he can add his own special driving aids, it is also a matter of Personal preference.
Mobility Ventures (MV-1)
The reason that the MV-1 is getting its own category is that it is the only vehicle designed from the ground up for wheelchair accessibility.
While there are vehicles that were designed to meet the requirements of disabled people, the MV-1 is the only one that was specially made for wheelchair users.
The vehicle meets the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) guidelines and provides lots of features and options for self-customization.
I admit that I don’t know much about the credibility of the car and I do not know people who are using it, so I can’t really recommend it but I do recommend for you to check it out as an option.
The minivans are the best cars for handicapped drivers as they offer lots of space along with compact design.
There are lots of great minivans which can be a perfect choice for handicapped drivers, I have mentioned here just a few of them which are the most popular but there are some more great alternatives.
In order to pick the best cars for handicapped drivers first, you have to choose from the categories that I have mentioned above, any model that I added to each category is a great choice and will do a great job.
In overall there are lots of options and it is a matter of your special needs, financial condition and the financial funding assistance that you get, and your own Personal preference.