4 Tips To Help Disabled Drivers Stay Alert On the Road

As a disabled driver, it can be particularly hard to stay alert on the road. There are several reasons why disabled drivers may get tired more easily than others. Perhaps you’re on pain medication for your condition, which could cause drowsiness. For those with reduced mobility, any sort of activity may cause you to fatigue more quickly. Whatever the reason, disabled drivers are at risk of becoming less focused, and this can be dangerous when you’re behind the wheel.

So why is it important to be alert when driving? Fatigue is a major cause of road accidents, and it’s vital that you avoid becoming sleepy at the wheel. Losing focus while driving, even for an instant, greatly increases your chance of being involved in an accident.

If you’re a disabled driver, you may be wondering what can help you stay alert while driving. There are many ways to ensure you stay safe, and with a bit of extra effort you can keep your concentration levels up. So what techniques can you use to stay alert while driving? Let’s find out! Below we’ve put together a list of our top tips for disabled drivers to help you focus on your journey.

person driving in snowy conditions
Image by Jaromír Kavan on Unsplash: How do I become a more alert driver? Follow our favorite tips!

Tips To Help Disabled Drivers Stay Alert On the Road

1. Get a good night’s sleep

This is an obvious one – never drive while you’re exhausted or sleep-deprived! Drivers who begin their drive already tired are only going to become more exhausted. And as we know, the more tired you are, the less alert you are.

If you have a drive coming up – especially if it’s a longer or more challenging route – ensure you get a proper night’s sleep before you depart so you can begin on the right foot. This tip is valid for every type of driver, disabled or not, and really is an invaluable piece of advice to follow before long drives.

2. Take lots of breaks along the way

If you find yourself losing concentration, make sure you take a break to rest. Don’t wait until you’re barely able to focus on the road before you stop – this is when you’re most likely to be involved in an accident. Instead, recognize that you’re tired, and pull over whenever it’s safe to do so.

If you still feel absolutely exhausted after a break, consider adjusting your plans to adapt to this – maybe it’s best to stay put and continue the following day (if on a longer trip and this is a viable option), or maybe you’ve only just left your house and wish to return.

Some people swear by a quick roadside nap where possible to stave off fatigue, while others find that this does little to help them. Only you know what works best for you, so you should do that! The main point is to not continue if you’re still drowsy.

3. Consider sharing the drive with someone else

If you’re going on a longer journey, or traveling with someone else for any drive, you could consider sharing driving responsibilities where possible. As soon as you start feeling your alertness fading, you can swap with your companion and recuperate a little while still making progress on your trip.

Even better – plan your rest breaks and swap driving duties accordingly, so neither driver has a chance to become fatigued at all. We understand that this may be more difficult for disabled drivers with vehicle adaptations, but if it’s an option, it could definitely make longer drivers safer – and more fun as well!

two people on car journey
Image by Orkun Azap on Unsplash: What techniques can you use to stay alert while driving? Try sharing the driving with someone else.

4. Don’t take medication that makes you drowsy – and avoid alcohol!

This is a very important point: if you take pain medication that may cause drowsiness, do not ingest any prior to long drives. Some medications may cause you to lose focus very quickly, so you’re easily at risk of becoming tired and unable to focus on the road. If in doubt, speak to your physician, who can advise you further about your medication and its effects.

The same goes for alcohol, and this applies to anyone operating a vehicle. Alcohol rapidly affects driving capabilities (and can interact negatively with medications, too), so should be avoiding prior to getting behind the wheel.

We hope that these top tips to help disabled drivers stay alert on the road have been helpful for you. If you’re a driver with a disability, you should consider applying for a disabled parking permit in your state. This can greatly reduce driving-related stress by giving you access to convenient and well-designed parking spaces to suit your needs. If you need more information on how to apply, Dr Disabled is here to help with your application for a disabled parking permit.

Featured image by Viktor Bystrov on Unsplash

4 Driving Tips For People With Physical Disabilities

Driving can be stressful at the best of times, but even more so if you’re a driver who has issues with mobility. If you have a physical disability, driving can be a challenge as you may come up against obstacles that are not obvious to others. Many disabled drivers struggle with fatigue while on the road, or perhaps find it difficult to concentrate for long periods of time due to a high level of pain – so we understand that life behind the wheel can certainly have its problems.

However, there are many ways to improve your experience as a driver. With a few small changes, you have the potential to have a much more comfortable trip. Below, we’ve put together a list of driving tips for people with physical disabilities to make your journeys easier, safer, and more enjoyable. Read on for our expert advice, recommendations, and tips for driving with disabilities.

Driving With A Disability – Tip #1: Adapt Your Vehicle

Have you ever wondered “How do disabled drivers adapt to their cars?” Well, the answer is that there are a multitude of options available. By making sure that your vehicle has the correct adaptations for your condition, you’re sure to have a much easier journey. Luckily, the list of potential vehicle adaptations for drivers with reduced mobility is constantly expanding and improving.

cars on road
Image by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash: Let’s go through some of our top driving tips for people with physical disabilities!

Some examples of the most common or popular vehicle adaptations include:

  • Wheelchair hoists
  • Swivel seats for both driver and passenger
  • Pedal extensions
  • Hand controls
  • Electric wheelchair lifts
  • Wheelchair restraints

Some adaptations are even more simple and cost-effective, such as the addition of extra mirrors to improve visibility on the road. By making necessary changes to your vehicle, you can ensure it serves you in the best possible way, making your time on the road much easier and safer.

Driving With A Disability – Tip #2: Only Drive When Well-Rested

This is not a recommendation for disabled drivers alone, but applies to everyone behind the wheel. Fatigue is one of the major causes of road accidents, and a leading reason for fatigue is beginning a drive while already feeling exhausted. Ensure you get a good night’s sleep before you undertake any long journeys, and never drive if you’re already very tired, as this can be extremely dangerous.

An important addition to this point is the advice to take many breaks along the way, to give yourself a chance to keep energy levels up. Make sure you stop along the route as often as you need, ideally before you even get tired, to be as safe as possible. If you do find yourself becoming tired while driving, pull over immediately and don’t drive any further if you continue to feel fatigued.

disabled parking sign
Image by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash: Vehicle modifications such as hand controls for disabled drivers can be really helpful.

Driving With A Disability – Tip #3: Plan Your Route

If you find yourself getting flustered or stressed while you drive or park, make sure you know where you’re going beforehand. By doing your research on the route ahead of you, you’re much more likely to feel at ease on the road. This applies to physically disabled drivers specifically, who may find it difficult to walk long distances.

That’s when a disabled parking permit can come in handy – see our final tip below!

Driving With A Disability – Tip #4: Apply For A Disabled Parking Permit

With a valid disabled parking permit, you can access specially designed and reserved parking spaces at your favorite locations, which reduces the need to walk excessive distances. What’s more, many of these spaces are wider and can therefore serve vehicles with adaptations such as wheelchair ramps. Having the knowledge that parking spaces are available at your destination can remove so much of the tension associated with parking and driving in general for those with reduced mobility.

Check out our site for a list of the conditions that qualify for a disabled parking permit in your state – those with severely limited mobility are indeed eligible. In fact, many states offer free disabled parking permits to those in need – you simply need to complete and pay for the medical consultation for certification. So what are you waiting for? Apply for your disabled parking permit today!

Featured image by Darwin Vegher on Unsplash