One area that has improved drastically over the years and made society much better as a whole is driver equality. Modern-day vehicles for those with a disability can make it easy, safe and comfortable for those with a wide range of disabilities to improve their independence and carry out their daily lives and this looks set to continue with some impressive technology currently in development.
In order to see the progress that has been made, it is important to look back to see what has previously been available to the disabled community in terms of transportation. Following the Second World War, it was felt that those that had been injured in service and those with disabilities needed a form of transportation that made it easy for them to get around. This led to the development of motor-driven trikes which were accessible vehicles designed for just one person.
While these automobiles did help to make those with mobility issues able to enjoy more independence, they were also antisocial and not ideal for most people, plus they were not the best designed – this led to them becoming banned in 2003 due to safety concerns.
Fortunately, we have come a long way from these days and now there are lots of good options for vehicles for those with a wide range of disabilities. This includes wheelchair accessible vehicles from places like Allied Mobility which can make it easy and safe for wheelchair users to access a vehicle and even drive in some cases. There is usually a ramp and the wheelchair is then secured in place – these are also converted vehicles so there is still space for other passengers too (unlike the motorized trike).
There are also adapted vehicles that can make it possible for those with a range of disabilities to get behind the wheel. This includes smart adaptations such as hand-controlled pedals, joysticks to control steering and quick release brake pedals. A disabled individual can learn to drive and take the standard driving test in one of these cars and they will then have a license to operate a car with that particular adaptation(s).
Looking forward, autonomous driving will be the future for all motorists and will be a huge benefit to the disabled community. This is because it will allow people to get to where they need to go without the need to actually drive the car. The UK is pioneering in the autonomous driving field and it is expected that driverless cars will start appearing on the roads in 2021.
We have come a long way in driver equality and the future is looking particularly bright for the disabled community who will soon be able to enjoy freedom and independence with the development of driverless cars.