Driving with restrictions: hand controls instead of pedals
You control the gas and brake with a simple retrofitted lever – we were amazed at how well it works!
As part of an off-road training course with the current Mitsubishi fleet, we were also able to get to know some special bodies and derivatives from the Japanese all-wheel drive brand. Even as experienced automotive writers, we have never had contact with “alternative control elements” for the pedals – and were impressed by how well it is now possible to accelerate manually.
Specifically, we looked at two Mitsubishi Hand controls for gas and brake viewed. They can be easily installed by any workshop on any model and are also available for less than 1,000 euros. It is logical that the vehicle is an optimal way automatic transmission should have. In this case, the partner of Mitsubishi Marketing is the German specialist manufacturer Veigel, whose products we are going to describe here.
Example: hand throttle in the extremely cheap Mitsubishi Space Star
The Mitsubishi Space Star, for example, is exciting for the basics of mobility: It offers practically as much space inside as a Golf and is also available with an automatic transmission for little money. Equipped with Veigel’s Classic II hand control, anyone whose legs have limited mobility (or of course no mobility at all) can control the small car surprisingly easily: It’s always the case with the lever controls one lever that controls both gas and brake. The power from the hand is transferred purely mechanically to the pedals. With the Classic II control you turn the lever clockwise to accelerate, if you push the complete lever forward, you brake. As a rule, a steering aid is also required: This is a simple rotary knob that enables safe steering with one hand.
Convenient: Compact II hand control from Veigel
For drivers who place even more value on an inconspicuous design, Veigel offers the Compact II manual control. If you pull the upper part of the lever backwards, you go forward, if you push the entire lever forward, you brake. This form of manual control is probably the most convenient and space-saving. In addition, it is impressive how smooth the movements work and transferred to the pedals. The lever can also be locked in the braking position. If you want to step on the gas all the time, you simply use the (electronic) cruise control, which, as a rule, all halfway new models with automatic transmission now have as standard on board. In our show setup, the hand control is installed in a Mitsubishi Outlander, which also has plenty of space for a wheelchair in the trunk or the best conditions for an automatic wheelchair lift from the trunk.
driver change? No problem thanks to foldable levers
If a driver with restricted mobility shares a vehicle with drivers who do not need to use the hand throttle, they can switch within minutes. If you drive with manual control, the pedals must be covered with a pedal cover, for example, so that any prostheses do not accidentally come into contact with the pedals. If you ride in the classic way with the pedals, the hand control can simply be folded down.
TÜV & DEKRA decide on the necessary installations and driving approval
Unfortunately, the legal framework is tight and cumbersome, but equally ensures safe driving for everyone on the road. You need a driver’s license both to acquire and to maintain it (after the onset of a disability). medical opinion by a specialist as well as a medical-psychological report on fitness to drive (§ 11 FeV Para. 2). You also need one aptitude test for driving a motor vehicle (§ 11 FeV Para. 4) from DEKRA / TÜV (these usually also take the driving school tests). TÜV / DEKRA suggest in this report the approval authority pads before, which are usually stored in the driver’s license. These requirements range from wearing glasses to a driver’s license with modifications such as manual operation of the pedals. If a driver’s license was / is already available, there are no specific rules as to whether an additional driving test must be taken.
Do I have to report and register my disability?
In fact, everyone has the right to participate in road traffic and you would have to go to the licensing authority accordingly give no notification, if, for example, you can no longer walk after an accident or are otherwise restricted. A driver’s license remains valid even after the onset of an illness or disability. However, the text of the law states that everyone with “restrictions of a physical or mental nature […] to take appropriate precautions [hat] (§2 FeV). If there is an accident and a major restriction was not stored in the driver’s license, Insurance companies can refuse to pay!
Many disabilities are no reason not to drive at all! If you have coordination problems when shifting, accelerating and braking, an automatic transmission with manual controls is a great solution. However, it is important to equip the vehicle so that it is easy for the driver to operate and does not pose a danger to other road users – this is particularly important if you rarely drive or if you start driving again after a long time.
Photos: Veigel, autoirrtum.de
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