There is an increasing range of motoring aids and accessories available that can make life easier for the disabled driver or passenger. Many, of course, are of great benefit to all motorists!
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Remote gate and garage door openers
One of those gadgets that appeals to everybody, an automatic gate or door opening system with a remote control means that you don’t have to leave your vehicle to get into your driveway or garage: essential for a disabled driver.
There is a range of kits available to convert any type of garage door or gate into a powered one. Some are suitable for a competent DIY-er, others require a professional installer.
Road atlas for disabled motorists
If you are a disabled motorist, it is vital to have access to information to make your journey smoother, such as which petrol stations are accessible, where you can park when you reach your destination, and how accessible the accommodation is.
For the first time, this essential information is now provided in a definitive parking and motoring road atlas customised for Blue Badge holders.
Covering all of the UK, the road atlas incorporates details of parking places for Blue Badge holders, accessible car parks and petrol stations, tourist information, Shopmobility locations, accessible beaches, toilets and accommodation.
Modern battery technology offers you big improvements in reliability, durability and freedom from maintenance chores: no more checking levels and topping up with distilled water!
Choose a high performance battery for increased power and longer life.
Gel technology and sealed valves ensure that the battery won’t leak or spill.
The two main disabled motorists associations, the Disabled Drivers’ Motor Club and the Disabled Motorists’ Association have joined forces to form one charitable organisation aimed at promoting the rights of disabled people, particularly with regard to personal mobility.
Activities include campaigning for better disabled parking facilities, better access for disabled people in town centre areas, improved facilities at service stations.
Alongside other disability organisations, they established the Baywatch Campaign, to monitor abuse of disabled parking facilities.
Parking sensors and reversing cameras
Parking sensors are an asset for anybody who hates negotiating tight parking places: if moving your head and neck is painful, they can be really helpful, as they will alert you as you approach too close to another car, wall or any type of obstruction. Luxury cars have them factory fitted, the rest of us can buy kits to install ourselves, or have them fitted by a garage.
There are two systems: ultrasonic, where a number of sensors on the rear bumper emit signals which bounce back off any obstacles, triggering an alert for the driver; and electro-magnetic, where an antenna fitted to the rear bumper sets up an electro-magnetic field, which then senses any changes nearby. The latter system only gives warnings when you are moving, not when stationery.
In addition to parking sensors, reversing cameras can be fitted, giving a clear view of the rear of the vehicle, so that any obstacles can be seen and avoided.
Bits and bobs
Theft of Blue Badge parking permits is a growing crime area: 6000 were reported stolen from parked cars in 2004, and many disabled motorists are now fearful of displaying their permits, knowing that they face a wait of up to six weeks for a replacement badge if theirs is stolen. Blue Badge Protectors, such as the one shown on the left, help to remove the risk of theft. The badge is locked into a steel case and protected by 5mm of thick clear plastic. The device is then locked with a flexible steel cable, which attaches to the steering wheel.
Other accessories to make life smoother for disabled motorists include such items as “Access Aid” flags, which warn other motorists that you need extra room to get in and out of your car, so they don’t park too close, and Blue Badge Display holders, which allow you to adjust the time disc easily.