These three types of accelerator rings and column mounted push brakes are a range of hand controls that are available when a person is unable to use their feet to operate the standard pedals.
The electronic and mechanical accelerators rings are fitted on top of the steering wheel and are operated by pushing down towards the steering wheel using either the thumbs or possibly the area of the palm below the thumbs.
The electronic under ring accelerator is fitted under the steering wheel and is operated by pulling (or squeezing) the ring towards the steering wheel using the fingers.
The column mounted brake lever is generally positioned to the right and behind the steering wheel and is operated by pushing it away towards the pedals. There are mechanical connections/rods from the brake lever to the brake pedal.
Points to Consider
All three accelerator rings enable both hands to be used to operate the accelerator and/or steering. However, good hand function is required and people with impaired co-ordination may have some difficulty operating these systems.
With all accelerator rings, check that the rod attached to the pedal from the brake lever is not obtrusive. Ensure that there is enough room for a person's legs without them knocking against the rod and that a driver using the normal controls can do so safely.
The electronic accelerator ring requires lighter pressure and is more sensitive to operate than some of the other types of hand control.
The electronic accelerator ring can be turned off, so there is no danger of activating the accelerator ring if another person is steering in the standard way. However, the mechanical accelerator ring cannot be turned off so there is a danger that the ring could be activated accidentally.
The installation of the mechanical brake lever will require the steering wheel or steering column to be in a fixed position. Any adjustability to the steering wheel or column will be lost.
The mechanical accelerator ring has a bracket fitted outside the steering wheel. This may impede hand movement when turning the steering wheel.
Because of the positioning of the under ring accelerator, the indicator/wiper stalks may have to be moved further back to create enough space for operation.
The electronic and mechanical accelerator rings can be fitted to the majority of vehicles, but there is a more limited range of vehicles to which the under ring accelerator may be fitted.
The fitting of any of the three types of accelerator ring should not affect the operation of the pedals if another person wishes to drive the vehicle in the standard way. However, when a person is using any of the accelerator rings, a pedal guard is recommended to prevent accidental operation of the pedals or the feet slipping underneath the accelerator and brake pedals. These can be easily removed when the car is driven with standard foot controls.
To determine whether any of the accelerator rings are suitable for your particular needs, one of the Forum of Mobility Centres may be able to offer you an assessment using these adaptations. Details of these centres may be obtained by telephone 0800 559 3636, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or website www.mobility-centres.org.uk
Whilst The Forum of Mobility Centres has taken every care to ensure the information provided in this document is accurate, the Forum does not endorse or make any representations as to the quality, cost or availability of the products, services, and suppliers listed here. The Forum of Mobility Centres cannot in any circumstances accept liability of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use of this information or any reliance placed on it by any person.