Hand control for driving is a blessing of modern technology. This brings back the physically disabled drivers into their seats again, especially those with lower limb disabilities. So, handicapped drivers can now have the freedom to enjoy their lives.
What are the best hand controls for disabled drivers? Well, there are many hand controls for vehicles in the market. So, it’s quite difficult to find out the quality product from there, if you haven’t enough idea about that. No worries, here we have shortlisted the 5 top-notch car hand controls to narrow down your choice.
This article will also take you through an in-depth buying guide and other necessary info to make your purchase easier. Keep reading and get the perfect hand controls for any type of car!
Top 5 Best Hand Controls for Disabled Drivers Reviews
1. QuicStick Portable Hand Controls for Disabled Drivers
Starting off the review with QuicStick portable hand controls. Due to the unbeatable quality of the product, we keep it in the first position. It’s a USA-brand hand control that is universal so fits virtually any American-made car and wheelchair.
This thumb hand control uses T-30 aluminum in construction which ensures its highest quality and durability. It comes in a pre-assembled condition with the necessary hardware for quick assembly and removal. It needs only 2 to 3 minutes to do that.
It fits both left and right-hand drivers. So, everyone can use it easily and comfortably. It’s adjustable too which allows adjusting the height according to your need. No need to worry about the weight of the product. It is lightweight and weighs only 3 lbs which allows easy carrying and storage.
There is an extra steering knob to ease the driving. You’ll get a comfortable feeling while using it. QuicStick has more than 10 years of reputation to provide driving mobility solutions for disabled drivers. So, you can rely on this proven hand control style.
- Pre-assembled hand controls allow easy installation
- Universal hand control fits almost any car
- Fully adjustable and easy to use
- Both left and right-hand drivers can use it
- No free thumb drive included
QuicStick Portable Hand Controls Unboxing and Review
2. CANALHOUT Handicap Hand Controls
The runner-up of our list is the CANALHOUT hand controls. This is designed ergonomically to control both brake and accelerator pedals in a single hand. It fits almost any automatic transmission vehicle.
This controller uses stainless steel and aluminum alloy in its construction which makes it long-lasting. The handles are made from CNC technology that ensures their superiority. There is extra coating and paint to prevent corrosion and damage. The brake handle has an anti-slip, soft PVC cover for a comfortable grip.
CANALHOUT vehicle hand control comes in pre-assembled condition so you can easily install this with your vehicle. All the necessary kits and hardware are also involved in the package including an Allen wrench, screw, gasket, thumb nut, etc. Both left and right-handed drivers can use this controlling system.
Adjustable length is another good feature of hand control. The maximum height of the brake handle is 32 inches whereas the length of the accelerator handle may go up to 34 inches. You can either install one or both of the handles as per your requirement.
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- Adjustable length of both controllers
- Suitable for most automatic transmission vehicles
- Comes in pre-assembled conditions
- Necessary hardware included
- Swiveling on the gas pedal should be improved
3. QuicStick Thumb Controlled Hand Controls
Up next, another QuicStick hand control for handicapped drivers. But this time the equipment is thumb controlled. T-6 aluminum-constructed equipment guarantees the excellent quality and robustness of the product.
This thumb-controlled hand control needs minimal force to operate the car. It’s virtually compatible with any automatic vehicle. You have to push the palm of your hand to brake and push your thumb for gas in this hand control equipment. It includes a carry and storage bag for convenient portability.
All the necessary spare parts and kits are included in the package to install the hand control equipment easily. The quick-connect hardware will make installation and removal easier. Thumb-controlled QuicStick hand control is approved by NHTSA in the USA. So, you can rely on this product for safe driving.
- Portable thumb hand controls
- Easy to install and accommodate
- Accessible in automatic all vehicles
- Includes spare parts, carry and storage bag
- Sometimes handles seem uncomfortable
4. Freedom Staff Handicap CHA-720 Thumb Drive Assist
If you’re looking for affordable hand control for handicapped drivers, Freedom Staff CHA-720 will be a great choice. It is a thumb-controlled hand-control system. The hand control equipment suits any automatic transmission automobile.
This easy and quick hand control allows driving the car using your two hands without any legs support. It is made from premium-quality stainless steel and aircraft-grade aluminum so you will get outstanding durability from the product.
The package includes all the necessary hardware and kits for fast installation of the hand control. It requires connecting the chain with rods to brake the car properly. The equipment is adjustable so you can use it comfortably.
By pressing the thumb knob, you can easily control the gas pedal to accelerate or decelerate the car. And brake pedal can be controlled by pushing it toward car bottom of the vehicle.
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- No additional kits are required
- Budget-friendly option
- Length adjustment according to your need
- Adaptable to any automatic transmission car
- Need to assemble the parts
Freedom Staff Handicap Hand Controls Video Review
5. Z-18 Portable Handicap Driving Hand Controls
We’ll wrap up the review with Z-18 portable car hand controls. It’s designed for automatic transmission vehicles for drivers who can’t use their legs. And this fits with some manual transmission automobiles too.
The hand control is very lightweight and you can easily carry it when necessary. It fits with most vehicles and allows easy installation and removal. All the essential accessories are included in the package. The length of the rods is adjustable so you can adjust its height when necessary.
There is a free steering wheel spinner knob. The brake handle is available in several colors like red, silver, blue, and black. This is a push/pull style hand control where you can use the thumb to control the gas and push it to brake the automobile.
Whether you are a left or right-handed driver, this hand-control equipment will be suitable for you. There is also a strap to support the hand control equipment. Indeed, having this, you will get a good product.
- Adjustable length for your need
- All necessary kits are included
- Suitable for automatic transmission vehicle
- Brake handle is available in different colors
- Velcro needs to be improved
- Quite expensive than other options
Buying Guide for Best Hand Controls for Disabled Drivers
Most likely, you have already got the right-hand controls for cars or wheelchairs from our recommended products. However, if you’re not experienced enough, you may first want to know the important features that help your buying. No worries! We’ve covered the key considerations below so can make a happy purchase.
Types of Hand Controls for Cars
Primarily hand control options are classified into two types- mechanical and electrical. Let’s have a brief discussion about that.
1. Mechanical Hand Controls
Mechanical hand controls are the most common ones in the market. They require levers, gears, linkages, etc to function well. The main components here are a handgrip and rods. One rod is connected to the brake and another to the gas pedal.
Mechanical hand controls are available in several types such as-
- Push/Pull Hand Control
This is the most frequently used hand control option. Drivers can control the brake by pushing the lever towards the bottom whereas you can accelerate the car by pulling the lever towards the steering wheel. Whether you’re right-handed or left-handed, you can install the hand controls according to your preference.
- Push/Rock Hand Control
Push/Rock is another kind of hand control option. By pushing the handle, you can easily regulate the brake here. On the other hand, you can create acceleration and rock motion by pulling the handlebar toward yourself.
- Push/Twist Hand Control
This is a perfect control system for tight spaces. It works like the accelerator of the motorcycle in the handlebar. So, by twisting the handle you can accelerate the car, whereas by pushing the handlebar toward the dashboard, you can brake the car easily. Push/Twist is also called Push/Rotate hand control.
- Push/Right Angle Hand Control
In this hand-control style, drivers can accelerate the vehicle by pushing the handle down. On the other hand, to brake the car you have to move the horizontal handlebar. This system is also good for compact spaces. Drivers can use their hand weight to speed up the car.
2. Electronic Hand Controls
The electronic hand control system is an advanced and customized option for handicapped drivers to regulate the driving system. It makes driving easier but requires a higher price compared to the mechanical system.
A digital acceleration ring is an important feature here that is mounted on the steering wheel. By pushing the ring, drivers can easily accelerate the car. To brake, there is a hand lever at one side of the wheel. It includes a small electronic wheel for those who can’t use the normal steering wheel.
You will also find one of the trendiest options automatic joysticks here to control the driving functions fully like, acceleration, braking, and steering. This requires less effort to operate the hand controls. So, if you are concerned about comfort and ease of operation, we highly recommend this hand-control style.
Hand controls should come with the necessary hardware to install the device perfectly. Good-quality hand controls feature numerous fittings to attach the hand control device in the car. You can purchase the hardware separately, but it’s quite difficult to find the right size for that.
The hand control also should have the option to install it for right and left-handers drivers. Some top-notch products come in pre-assembled condition, so you can install them shortly without much hassle.
Quality of the Material
The material used on the hand control should be lightweight and rust-resistant. Different materials are used to make hand controls for cars. But stainless steel and aluminum are two quality-proof materials for hand controls.
Hand controls come in different sizes. You should check which size will fit your height. An important thing here is the availability of the right size. But if you want to choose automatic, programmable car controls, this will be the best decision.
Before purchasing the hand control, it’s necessary to consider whether the style matches your car or not. For example, if you own a Ford car be sure the controller system will fit your model. Also, be sure the controls should be compatible with the car’s manual or automatic transaxle.
Price and Warranty
Have you wondered; how much do hand controls cost? Well, mechanical hand controls may cost between $150 to $300 on average. But there are many expensive products that come with higher price tags of $500 to $1000 and even more. Also, keep in mind the labor costs to install the hand controls in automobiles. On the other hand, electronic hand controls are very expensive.
So, consider your budget and choose the hand controls accordingly. But too much cheaper products won’t provide desired performance. Thus, we recommend you balance between price and quality. Also, check the warranty of the product so you can get a replacement or good after-sales service if any fault is found in the hand controls.
Basics of Driving Hand Controls with Their Working Principles
Hand controls are assertive equipment to control the car brake and gas pedal instead of using your feet. They are used to regulate the acceleration and brake. You can replace the foot pedals and steering wheel with hand controls just raising them in the steering wheel height for easy access.
Usually, hand controls have two main regulators that are pivoted with the accelerator pedal and the brake pedal. Hand controls have some major and minor functions. The major driving hand controls adjust the brake, steering, and accelerator. Whereas the minor hand control unit is responsible for operating wipers, headlights, etc.
The mechanism of hand controls largely depends on their types. For example, the Push/Pull hand control style allows one to regulate the brake of the car by pushing the lever and accelerating the car by pulling it.
Who Needs Hand Controls to Drive the Cars?
In general, anyone can use hand controls while driving their car. However, some people who are experiencing specific physical disabilities will need hand control badly such as-
- Parkinson’s disease
- Multiple sclerosis
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spinal cord injury
- Cerebral palsy
- People with missing legs and fingers
- Legs strength or sensation loss
- Foot or knee surgery people
Why are Portable Hand Controls Necessary for Disabled Drivers?
Disabled especially the lower limbs handicapped drivers may encounter problems controlling the steering, braking, and acceleration. But hand controls make this possible to regulate them as these controlling units are relocated in the hand height positions.
This allows disabled drivers to control the acceleration and brake of the car using one hand while keeping another hand on the steering wheel. It’s space friendly and gathers all the necessary controlling units within a small place.
Moreover, quality hand controls include a steering knob that can replace the large steering wheel. So, hand controls make driving easier and more comfortable for disabled drivers.
How to Install Hand Controls in a Car?
Installing hand controls on cars isn’t rocket science. You can do it easily by following some simple steps.
Step 1: Choose the Appropriate Hand Controls
First, you have to purchase good hand controls for your car. Consider the car’s transmission type as well as the features of the hand controls like adjustability, compatibility, etc.
Step 2: Remove Conflicting Accessories
Sometimes, you may need to remove some existing accessories to make room for hand controls. For instance, if the indicator and gear stick have knobs or buttons this will make it difficult to install the hand controls. In this case, you should remove them to set the hand-driving controls accurately.
Step 3: Set the Hand Controls
Most quality vehicle hand controls come with the necessary hardware and fittings to install the hand controls in the car. So, assemble the parts together to get the full profile of the hand controls. But if they come in pre-assembled condition, it will lessen your effort.
Now fasten the brake control rods securely with the brake pedal by nuts and bolts. Similarly, connect the accelerator control rod with the gas pedal by fasteners. A wrench will help you to tighten the screws. And finally, check whether everything is working well or not.
The video below shows the process of installing hand controls on the car.
FAQs About Hand Controls for Cars
Can you use hand controls in wheelchairs?
Yes, you can use the car hand controls in wheelchairs. However, before purchasing the product, check its compatibility.
Can you add hand controls to your manual cars?
Most hand controls are compatible with automatic transmission cars. However, some of the hand controls are adaptable for both automatic and manual cars. So, choose that one which fit with manual automobiles.
Are handicapped hand controls for trucks available?
Yes, it’s available. Any hand controls that we mention above can be used in trucks. But don’t forget to check the compatibility.
Will hand controls in your car affect your insurance?
Some insurance companies may cancel your insurance if you install hand controls on the car. So, it’s recommended to discuss the insurance before you bring any modifications to the car. But there are several insurance companies that include disabled drivers’ hand controls in their policies.
Hand control equipment is handy to give back the freedom to disabled drivers. If you are planning to purchase the best hand controls for disabled drivers, our reviewed hand controls and buying tips will definitely help you get the right one. However, we highly recommend the QuicStick hand controls.
Keep in mind, before you hop on using hand controls in the vehicle, consult with the doctor first to decide whether you should use it or not. After getting green signals from your doctor, you can now opt for driving hand controls in your automobile.
And it’s recommended to practice driving with hand controls in the garage or open spaces before you go on the busy street. Hopefully, you can now enjoy the freedom of life with the help of hand-assisted driving controls. Best of luck!
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