Driving Controls - NMEDA

Driving controls are devices that allow a person with a physical limitation to operate the driving functions of their vehicle.

Driving controls can be installed in cars, trucks, vans, or SUVs. Visit our Industry Directory to search for NMEDA member companies who offer these products.

  • Hand Controls
    • Hand controls allow the driver to operate both the brake and gas pedals using levers that are typically mounted below the steering wheel and attached to the pedals themselves. There are many types of hand controls and it is important to consult with a NMEDA dealer to determine which type best suits your needs. The most common styles are:
      • Push/Pull – Pushing the lever forward will engage the vehicle’s brakes, while pulling it backward will accelerate the vehicle. A three-post hand interface can be installed to give the driver greater control. This model is appropriate for persons with limited finger dexterity.
      • Push/Twist – Pushing the handle forward causes the vehicle to brake, while twisting the lever accelerates the vehicle. Full or limited finger function is necessary to operate this type of control.
      • Push/Right Angle – Pushing the handle upward toward the instrument panel allows the driver to brake, while moving it downward at a right angle accelerates the vehicle. This model can be used by persons with limited finger dexterity.
      • Push/Rock – Pushing the handle forward activates the brakes, while rocking back the lever will accelerate the vehicle. Finger dexterity is not necessary for operation of this model.
  • Steering Ring Accelerator
    • The steering ring accelerator is placed directly on the steering wheel. Pushing the ring towards the steering wheel accelerates the vehicle.  The main hand brake – which can be installed on the left or right side of the steering wheel – activates the brakes when pushed downward. This driving control allows the user to maintain both hands on the wheel.
  • Servo-Controls
    • Servo-operated controls use an external power source to amplify the input from the operator, minimizing the amount of effort required to drive. These come in low effort and zero effort styles.
  • Left-Foot Accelerator Pedal
    • With this pedal, accelerator functions of the vehicle are converted to left foot use for those with limited or no use of the right foot.
  • Spinner Knob
    • Spinner knobs permit safe operation of the steering wheel by drivers who must steer with one hand or who cannot grip the steering wheel.  Available in a variety of configurations – such as single pin, tri-pin, amputee ring, palm grip, & V grip – the appropriate solution will depend on the driver’s strength, dexterity, and other physical capabilities.

Secondary driving controls address the non-steering/braking features that a driver will operate, such as the horn, headlights, turn signals, wipers, HVAC, sound system, and more. Available in a variety of configurations – including toggle switch, touch pad, headrest switch, elbow switch, and voice activated – the appropriate type(s) of secondary driving controls will depend on the driver’s strength, dexterity, and other physical capabilities.