What It Means to Drive With Prosthetic Limbs – Our Guide

In today’s fast-paced society, driving is arguably the most reliable way for one to go from one place to another. Whether you’re buying groceries or going to work, driving your personal car is extremely convenient.

For people who have suffered from limb loss, however, the ability to continue driving their own car as the primary means of transportation may seem impossible. Fortunately, it is more than possible for people to drive with a prosthesis today. This article will outline what it means to drive with a prosthesis.


Overview of Prostheses

Losing a limb – whether from an accident or a medical condition – can be traumatizing. A prosthesis is an artificial device used to replace a missing limb, which is designed to help amputees with their everyday activities, making it easier for them to function.

There are various types of prostheses available today, including passive prostheses and functional prostheses. Passive prostheses are generally used for purely cosmetic purposes whereas functional prostheses are devices designed to assist amputees with daily tasks.


Getting a Driver’s License

Before an amputee can attain a driver’s license, there are many steps involved in the process. The one thing that every amputee must do is to inform the driver’s license agency about the change to their medical condition. In general, an amputee must visit an assessment center to see if their vehicle has to go through any structural modifications.

This is to ensure the safety of the driver and every passenger in the car. After that, the amputee has to retake a driving test to further test the amputee’s ability to drive in a safe manner. If amputees wish to continue driving, they are allowed to do so, given that they have passed the test and the necessary modifications to the vehicle have been made.


Getting Vehicular Modifications

As mentioned, there are cases that the vehicle needs to be modified in order to fit with the amputee’s special needs. Hand controls can be added such as hand brakes, accelerators, and steering knobs that help to ensure safe driving. For some amputees, some components have to be moved around for ease of use as well. For example, the gas and brake may have to be switched to the left side of the floorboard instead. Necessary upgrades can also be made, such as an upgrade to the turn signals, windshield wipers, and others.


Driving Regulations For People With Prostheses

The ability to drive a vehicle should not be reserved only for people with all of their limbs. Driving a vehicle is a necessary means of transportation for amputees just as much as everyone else. Luckily, most countries have policies and regulations regarding driving with a prosthesis, showing the acknowledgement that all prosthetic patients are also able to drive just as well as others. If you’ve recently gotten a prosthesis limb, you should not be discouraged to stop driving. Remember – losing a limb doesn’t mean that you have to stop living your life.


Final Notes

Going through an amputation surgery and learning to perform daily tasks with a prosthetic limb are difficult for everyone. When it comes to the recovery process, everyone copes in a different way and recovers at a different rate. You may take more time to adjust to a prosthesis than others would, but that is perfectly fine. The most important thing is to remember that your family, friends, and counsellor are always there to support you throughout your journey to living a happy, fulfilling life.

Learn more about our prosthesis solutions on our product page. Feel free to get in touch with us today to see how we can help!