Living with a disability can be difficult. Not only can it affect your physical health and wellness, but it can also prevent you from living a normal life. Thankfully, having the proper transportation can ensure your everyday life is not interrupted in drastic ways. Of course, this may require purchasing a handicapped-accessible vehicle. Here are a few factors to consider when purchasing a handicapped-accessible mobility vehicle.
Just because a vehicle is deemed "handicapped accessible," does not mean it is suited to your specific needs. When searching for the right vehicle, focus on your needs ahead of any other factor.
If you are in a wheelchair, the vehicle must be wheelchair accessible. It should also have a ramp and a lift installed to make getting in and out of the vehicle easy.
Other accessories can also be included into your vehicle.
For example, if your disability prevents you from using your hands properly, your vehicle may require special handles for moving the steering wheel better. Extensions for the pedals or gear shift may also be necessary if you are unable to reach these areas because you are sitting in a wheelchair.
Each person is different so you may require something entirely different than others who have a similar disability.
Pre-Modified or Modify
Once you determine your needs, you will have an idea on which vehicle is right for you. However, you will then need to decide if you want to purchase a pre-modified vehicle or buy one that you can have modified.
A pre-modified vehicle will come handicapped-accessible, meaning it will be ready for you to own and operate. This is the most convenient option, but it can be a costly one, especially since some pre-modified vehicles will have accessories and aids that you may not necessarily need.
If you want to save money, buy a regular vehicle and modify it with only the options you need and want. If you already own a vehicle that can be modified, you will be able to save even more money.
It is also imperative that you purchase your vehicle from an accredited dealer who understands your needs and wants to fulfill your desire to own a vehicle that can be operated even though you have a disability.
The dealer should be certified by NMEDA, or National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. This organization is dedicated to ensuring vehicles are safe and effective for disabled, handicapped individuals.