Driving Tips for Folks with Arthritis
If you are arthritic or have reconstructed or artificial body parts, you have challenges that most people never think about. Such conditions make it painful to get into and out of the car, reach your safety belt or look over your shoulder when in reverse. But what is the alternative? Stop driving? No way – Here are arthritis-friendly solutions to help.
Look for a vehicle – new or used – that has the following equipment (or have it installed).
- Adjustable steering column, one you can move forward so you can get in and then move back to a comfortable reach.
- A 6-way adjustable seat allows the driver to be as comfortable as possible.
- Heated seats help ease the pain in your hips and back.
- Back-up camera system and parallel parking guidance ease that pain in the neck when attempting to smoothly accomplish those maneuvers.
- Swivel seats and transfer seat bases make sliding into and out of a van easier, especially since few vehicle seats are just the right height for swinging your legs to get in and out.
Gadgets that you can purchase at an automotive or big box store make offer simple solutions:
- Gas cap wrench. Ideal for weak hands or sore muscles, the gas cap wrench has a long handle and a formed-X shape, designed to fit over bar-style gas caps and give extra leverage to twist and turn the cap with ease.
- Enlarged key handles (key turners) which fit over your keys.
- Steering wheel covers increase your grip and reduce finger/hand cramps.
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) is an advocate for mobility and accessibility for drivers with disabilities. If you need help with converting or buying a handicap accessible car, truck or van, please consider one of our mobility equipment dealers.