Being able to drive is a key part of being independent for most people. But if you suffer from arthritis, the pain, weakness and stiff joints can make it hard for you to get in and out of the car, and to use the controls. Sitting in the car also can lead to fatigue and backaches. Fortunately, there are some easy tips that you can keep in mind that will make driving a car with arthritis a good deal easier:
  • One of the first things to keep in mind is the simple logistics of being in the car. How are you going to be able to get in and out of the car? Will you need extra help to do these things? There are many arthritis products available for the car that can make this process easier.
  • For getting in and out, try looping a piece of webbing or even a walking stick over the foot and pull it with your hands over the sill of the door. Another option is the Leg Wrap Positioning Aid. To assist you with swiveling into position, you can try the Car Ease Slide or the Car Swivel Seat Cushion.
  • To reach your seat belt and to wear it with comfort, many cars these days have seat belt adjustments built in. To make it easier to grip the steering wheel, you can pad it with foam tape, or with a wheel cover.
  • If you use a wheelchair, there are many devices available that can help you to transfer from the chair into the seat.
  • If you are considering getting a new car, you should keep some things in mind as you make your choice. Remember that for people with arthritis, a smaller, lighter door is easier to handle than a heavy one. So a four door vehicle is the logical choice. On the other hand, a two door car does have a wider entrance and exit, so it is a good idea to try both kinds to see which works best for you. It also is smart to look for a car that has doors that move smoothly and are not stiff. Look for a seat that operates electronically so you can easily get into the best position for driving.
So, driving a car with arthritis is really doable for most people, with the proper training and equipment. This will help you to keep your independence and to enjoy your life to the fullest. Click here to see all of our Car Mobility Aids for people with arthritis.