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Heather Mills - Amputee Forum
Cakepigeon

Probably a very silly question but......

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I am due to have my left leg amputated bk and I have a manual car.

This may seem like a really silly question but will I be able to still use the clutch pedal with a prosthetic leg or will I have to get an automatic?

Just wondering as obviously you can't feel the pedal any more and I am unsure how the prosthetic actually moves.

Apologies again if this appears a daft question but as I am very new to all this I am trying to think ahead.

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Am not too sure of things regards manual cars in the UK Cakepigeon, I use an automatic with hand controls (as am bilateral) but it might be worth taking a look at this website which might have more information

http://www.rica.org.uk/sites/default/files/documents/pdfs/mobility/motoring-after-amputation.pdf

If you are in doubt of what you might need etc etc., there are various assessment centres scattered around the country where you can go, try out different set-ups, be assessed etc. etc. http://www.rdac.co.uk to might be some info here too.

Also more info at http://limblossinformationcentre.com/organisations/driving-af

You will probably be able to 'feel' the pedals etc., through up through your prosthesis, if that makes sense, but obviously not in the normal way you would feel through a natural foot. In other parts of the world people are allowed to drive with their prostheses and do often manage this, but unless the rules have changed since I learned to drive in the UK, you will probably not be allowed to use your prosthesis with the pedals. You are probably also going to have to let the DVLA and your insurance know also about the amp, as its often written into your licence.

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I know a bi-lateral amputee that drives a truck with prosthetic legs so it can be done. Best wishes going forward !

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Hi,

I'm in the UK and been a left bk amp since 2008. Firstly the boring bit- it's vital that you tell DVLA and your insurers. If you want to retain the manual option DVLA will require you to sign a confirmation that you do not need an auto or adapted vehicle, and your insurers are not allowed to increase your premium solely on the basis of disability.

The advice I was given by my assessment centre was that , although they encourage amputees to not limit their ambitions,a right bk shouldn't really consider driving a manual (due to possible issues in an emergency stop situation) but it was perfectly possible for a left bk to do so as long as they felt confident that they were able to do so safely.

As my daily car was already an auto this wasn't an issue for me but I wanted to keep the option of driving our other manual car and agree its possible to drive a manual but frankly as you are lifting the prosthetic at an unusual angle I found driving in heavy traffic where frequent clutch use is needed a bit tiring.

One other thing to consider is that after your amputation it may be quite a while until you get a prosthetic that you feel completely comfortable with and can wear all day. With an automatic you can resume driving as soon as you feel well enough and your wound has healed enough. As long as I had somebody to help load and unload my wheelchair with an auto I was able to drive well before I got my first prosthetic (although without my left leg to help me brace I soon found that driving briskly round twisty roads and slippery leather seats made an interesting mix). That bit of a return to normality meant a lot

Hope this helps a bit and good luck!!!

Tony.

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Yep, have heard of others driving bilaterally with their prosthetics around the world Johnny .... but the DVLA won't let you in the UK.

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Although it would probably work OK you should contact your drivers license issuing authority as there may be some rules in place that you need to be aware of, I'm a AK right leg amputee so I couldn't work the gas pedal in my automatic car. I had an 'of the shelf' left foot accelerator pedal kit installed and when I checked with the license issuing centre - WOW!. I had to be retested(after 50 years of driving) and although I passed I now have an endorsement on my license that states left foot accelerator and automatic transmission only. So check it out before you find out you are driving with voided insurance covereage

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Thank you all so much for your advice, I think what I may do then is just wait and see how it all feels when I have got used to my prosthesis. I will definitely let the DVLA know when I feel I am fit to drive, something that I didn't even think about before.

Thanks again everyone xxx

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