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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
david_w_pearce

car advice for UK Left AKA

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I am a new amputee, and new to this group.

I recently had my left leg removed above the knee. I cannot have a prosthesis fitted for a while due to a large area of skin graft. I need to change my manual car for an automatic and am unsure what cars will be easy to get into when I have my new limb. I am 6'1" tall.

I have looked at Renault Scenic's (they look roomy), but does anyone have any experience of suitable vehicles? What should I look out for? Should I just wait until I have the prosthesis?

Help?

Oh and this is just the first thing I need help with! If there is anyone else who is the father of a small baby and can explain how, and when I'll be able to carry my baby again...

Thanks

David

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David,

I would say any kind of truck that the door opens wide and has lots of room for a tall person like yourself. You may find later on that you can still drive a manual car.

I'm not a father but I would say you should be able to carry you child as soon as you get the leg are walking very well. I would say while you are sitting in a chair or couch hold him/her...

Let us know if there is anything else we can do for you.

Welcome to the forum.

Brenda

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I have just got a citroen picasso auto. pretty gutsy but excellent for getting wheelchairs in and out and fine for stepping into. The scenic would have been my first choice though as the diesel auto is supposed to be excellent.

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One thing to look out for is foot room - as opposed to leg room.

I spent several weeks in taxis while waiting to get my drivers license back and car modified (I'm a RBK) and I noticed that although most cars have lots of leg room, some do not have much foot room.

A prime example is the Ford Falcon and LTD version of the same car - a popular taxi here in New Zealand. I found that in these cars I could not put my right leg where I wanted to because my foot would not fit beneath the glove box - If your foot bends at the ankle then it's not a problem, but prosthetic feet don't bend that much.

The car I brought since my amputation is a V6 Mitsubishi Legnum (Galant wagon) with tiptronic auto and I find that there is plenty of room (and performance). Although I have a left foot accelerator fitted, I sometimes drive with my right (prosthetic) leg as I still want to drive manual cars if I want/have to. I have driven my Toyota Corolla and Lancia Thema Turbo (both manual) without too many problems. Light-weight shoes help here as holding the leg up can get tiring.

If money was not too much of an issue I'd would like one of the new Fiat Stilo Abarths (or possibly Alfa Romeo) as these have an automatic-manual gearbox. That is a manual gearbox with automatic clutch. You can drive the cars in full auto mode or use steering wheel mounted paddles to shift up and down - it even double-de-clutches and blips the throttle on the downshifts (cool!)

There is a bilateral BK amputee I know of who drives manual cars all the time and at the limb centre (on my last visit) I met a LAK who drives a manual car - he said it's a matter of being able to get the right angles for leverage on the clutch - mind you he was a fairly active sort and also goes snow-boarding amongst other activities.

All the best with whatever choice you make.

David

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Hi David

I am a bilateral below knee, and have been driving for many years. I drive an automatic with a single combined brake/accellerator and steering knob.

Have driven a variety of cars over the years, have found in recent years that some of the new cars have not given me enough leg space. However in Jan. this year purchased a Renault Scenic and am finding it a pleasure to drive, very comfortable. Have had a look at the new Scenic which looks even better. My Scenic is a 1600 auto. and this is the only thing I would chnage, imaybe to go for a 1800 or 2L next time. We recently did a fair amount of hilly and motorway driving and would have liked the extra power, however apart from that I have no complaints.

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I'm a RAK, I've had many cars and not had problems with any of them. I use a turntable, which is a device that fits just above the knee to tuck it out of the way when driving. With you being a lefty, you will be able to use a manual, most likely as you only need to use the clutch on that side, so you don't need to transfer the leg from one pedal to another. I could have an adapted car to do that, but with so many autos available, what's the point?

Having said all that, I have seen many amputees with Scenics for some reason?

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I'm a shorty so don't have many problems with enough head or foot room. My main bugbear is the width of the doors as it makes it easier to get into and out of a car the wider the door. I had a Honda Civic (2 door) with very wide doors and it was a breeze to get into and out of that car.

Mandy

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