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phillycarole

How do you drive??

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I know this question may sound dumb, but I'm just really curious. Since I'm going through my state's Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, am getting assistance with having a lefty excellerator put in my car (I'm a RBK). Let me quickly say these people are absolutely wonderful, they're even paying for my final prosthesis since my insurance said no. Takes a little time, but that's okay with me. Anyway, back to the driving. It's a little less than a year since my amputation, but within the past month my husband has let me drive using my left foot. I have to take my prosthesis off while doing so, but oh how wonderful it feels to be behind the wheel again. I don't feel this is the greatest thing to do, but til I get the lefty, it will have to do in a pinch around my neighborhood. My husband has run across several men who drive like this all the time. Anywho, how have ya'll solved this problem.

Carole

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I'm also RBK and drive using a left foot accelerator pedal. As my amputation was the result of an accident involving a car the Land Transport Saftey Authority (in New Zealand) suspended my licence until I had a driving assessment. I am now only allowed to drive a car fitted with a left foot accelerator - although I am going to get another assessment soon as I can drive a manual car with my prosthetic leg.

The left foot pedal didn't take much getting used to, although I'm told that some people do have problems. I used to do a bit of competitive driving (hillclimb, rallysprint etc) and used to do a bit of left-foot braking so I guess that made a difference.

The left foot pedal I have fitted is hinged (as is the right hand pedal) so that either pedal can be used without the other one getting pushed by accident as they fold right up out of the way- no need to take the leg off to drive.

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I'm a RBK and I drive with my right foot no adaptions. I have been driving this way since I was 20 and I'll be 37 next month. I did start out driving with my left foot (used to take my leg off or tuck it under my left leg). About 2 years of doing this I finally started trying to drive with my right foot and found that it was very easy to do. I am also one to try everything (well most everything) at least once so when my ex-husband and I had a stick shift I talked him into teaching me how to drive it. I managed that pretty well so I took that car as my way of transportation. I had a restriction on my license of automatic transmission only but drove the stick anyway. About 8 years ago I finally went and took the driving test and passed with flying colors and they removed my restriction of automatic transmission only. At the moment I have an automatic car but can still drive a stick if I have to.

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Hi Carole!

I drive with a left foor accelerator and have no problems at all. It is mounted on a bracket to the floor and had a quick release button so it can be removed if someone else is driving the car.

Good Luck ;)

Keep Smiling :) Wendy

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Hi,

I'm a RBK since November last year and I drive a normal automatic car - I just drive with my left foot. I move the right out of the way - don't take off my prosthetic - and drive normally. The pedals are not moved in any way and the car has no adaptions. I have no probs driving at all and its great.

Sue - Cardiff - UK :blink:

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I am RBK as well. I drive with my right foot with a block of wood duct taped to the gas peddle. I can also drive lefty if I'm not weAring my leg. Also if I have to I can drive a stickshift.

Eric

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B) Hey, I am right, aka and after 3 months of being depend upon somebody to drive me to any places I tried to drive with my left foot and it is amazing eazy. Just like Sue Taylor, I do fine with an automatic car :blink: And I am not bragging, I am a darn good driver. B)

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And I am not bragging,

You are so :P :lol:

Well, I am a LBK and just drive an automatic at the moment and I suppose that's just down to sheer laziness :blink: Well actually it's also partly down to the last umpteen prostheses being probably not safe enough for me to use a clutch on the public roads <_< What I do in them there fields is another story tho' ;) -I'm working on going on a combine this year and can't quite decide if I NEED to get a quadbike B)

There's this chap who farms neighbouring fields to me and he's paralysed from the waist down and still drives a tractor and stuff-it's way cool :)

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I'm RAK and learnt to drive with my left foot on an automatic at age 17. I drive the same way as Sue, and I'm a shorty so there is not much leg to move out of the way! :P

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I learned to drive with a left accelerator pedal adaption which worked fine but the one problem I found was whenever I attempted to drive another vehicle, I would automatically step on the left side pedal for gas, which didn't work out too well. When I bought my second car, I decided to go with no adaption and just drive with my left foot and the normal pedals. It's never been a problem.

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I'm a LBK and drove a few places before I got my limb, not a problem, that is, unless I had to use the emergency break in a hurry!!!! :lol: I also had to go back for a drivers test, again not a problem, only now am restricted to driving with the prothesis on. Hey, just let me drive, I don't really care what I have to wear, so long as I can see out the window!!! :rolleyes: :lol:

Sheila LBK

Southern Maine

Keep Smiling :)

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Hey Mandy,

I'm a shorty too!!! Just 5ft. Not short - just vertically challenged!!!!!! :P

Sue - Cardiff - UK :blink:

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I have had an automatic car for a few years now as I can't use my left foot properly, so having the amputation won't make a difference to me.

For those who had a car they were able to drive, without making alterations, how quick was it before you drove again? I will be in hospital for 3 weeks and I was hoping I would be able to drive practically straight away, even if it was just to drop my little girl at gymnastics without getting out of the car at that end.

June

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It's a testament to the importance of cars in modern society that one of the top ten questions I've been asked by every single amputee I've known (and a lot of the generally curious friends and family gang) is related to driving. 'Can you drive?' 'Do you use hand controls?' and the ever-popular 'Would you mind if I drove instead of being a passenger?', although that last one might be more a complaint about my driving style than the number of legs I have to operate the pedals. ;)

I've yet to meet a leg amputee, unilateral or bilateral, above or below-knee, who positively cannot drive at least as safely as they did before their amputations if they have the right equipment.

For a couple of years after my amputation the only piece of special equipment I had was an automatic, which I'd never had considered before, and I drove by crossing over my leg (left) to the gas pedal, but after a while I started getting a bit of back pain from being that little bit twisted in the seat. That's when I went out and had a left-side gas pedal installed. I have not had any back pain since.

As for what I did so my prosthesis wouldn't get in the way and cause an accident, I just had a foot-support placed over the right-side gas pedal. Something like the foot-support on the left of the clutch or brake on most cars, but mine had a raised lip on the side that kept my prosthesis from moving around in the pedal box. I never, ever had it accidentally slip off. The tradeoff here is that it was a permenent arrangement and most people weren't able to drive my car comfortably (or safely) unless they somehow developed the right 'feel' with their left foot.

For the past couple of years I haven't worn my leg all that much, maybe once or twice every couple of weeks, but I still have that pedal support installed on every car I own, right up to my current one, because I've always felt it would be very dangerous for my prosthesis to somehow wedge, say, under the brake pedal or on to the right-side gas pedal and cause an accident.

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Hi June,

I had my amp on 5th November 2003 and was having a go at driving an automatic b the January. I came home on 15th November and had my 1st leg on the 17th December.

I wanted to wait until I had my leg so that I could 'walk' to the car (my limb centre don't issue crutches). As soon as I had my leg I could have driven then....but I was a bit unsure of driving and had to pluck up the courage to make the switch from manual - which I was used to driving - to automatic. I don't know why I was unsure as all was ok when I drove the automatic - I just almost sent my step dad through the windscreen when I hit the brakes!!!! Thank heavens for seatbelts! :P This is cos I was using my left foot - which is not the natural foot to drive with - until you get used to it. My step dad suggested scrunching the toes up when I braked - so that it put less pressure on the pedal - it works!!

For me now - its bo different driving with my left to how I drove before.

Happy driving

Sue - Cardiff - UK :blink:

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Hi

I am a bilateral b/k and have driven an automatic with hand controls since of the age of 18. I have a knob on the steering wheel, and the single combined conversion of brake and accellerator.

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I just almost sent my step dad through the windscreen when I hit the brakes!!!!  Thank heavens for seatbelts!  :P This is cos I was using my left foot - which is not the natural foot to drive with - until you get used to it.  My step dad suggested scrunching the toes up when I braked - so that it put less pressure on the pedal - it works!!

Hehehe. I've seen that before. Actually, the scrunching up of your toes will just be a short-term remedy. In very little time you'll develop the 'feel' to brake and accelerate as smoothly and efficiently as you did with your right foot before. You'll be able to forget about the toe-scrunching then, which is probably a good idea as it tends to limit the amount of pressure you can put on the brakes when it's called for in an emergency situation.

I did quite a bit of racing before my amputation and I was already used to left-foot braking. I had a harder time developing the right 'feel' for the gas pedal. Go figure!! :D

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I can relate to the putting someone through the windshield!! I'm getting better every day though. I also am cutting down on giving people whiplash!!

My question Eric is why the block of wood with duct tape??

Carol

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I'm an LBK so driving wasn't really a problem for me but at first getting in the car was. I have a ford F-150 truch so i had to learn how to p[osition the walker (before prosthesi) just right to pull myself backwards up into the seat. The one thing i wanted to tell you which i think you will find interesting is that there is a girl who visits the yahoo disAbled chat room from california who has no arms and no legs and drives her own van she has pictures on her profile her nickname is queenbee and i'm sure she would be glad to talk with you she is truly amazing and her van is so cool. Good luck , take care , and GOD BLESS YOU.

MIKE

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I have a van that has a chair lift or I can drive with prosthesis...I drive with hand controls. Don't even have pedals, then again don't have hands either. Had to be assessed before they would issue me a new license (some restrictions), but haven't had any major problems since.

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Hi,

I'm a bilateral bk. I drive wearing my prosthesis. I don't use any modifications & it's worked fine. After I got sick, my license expired. I had to take the driving test in order to get my license. I didn't mention being an amputee until after the test was over. ;) The only restriction on my license is that I have to be wearing both prosthesis if I'm driving. DUH! :blink:

Linda

P.S. Johannah....that Chuckie Doll is FREAKING ME OUT!!!!!!!! :rolleyes:

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and to think...I was going to use my "Pinhead" avatar! Oh well...would you prefer "Snoopy" or something? How bout' "Care Bears"? I aim to please...just let me know. Besides the butterflies and stuff are already taken... :lol: Don't want to stir up nightmares...luv,

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Hi, Johannah.

I've tried clicking on your "Johannah "MoJo"" link a couple of times, but it's not finding the server. Maybe a syntax error in the link?

:)

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Its Lesley

and I just wanted to know

if I could ever drive

see my concentration ability

is kaput

and then my parents dont trust

me behind the wheel

and the someone is coming

to teach me I think

so I dont know what to do

because I am scared that if I do drive

then I will defintely be nervous

but theres always the If's

no one has to comment

I just felt real whatever grrrrrrrrrrrrrr about it

Lesley

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