Learning to drive is a big step for all young adults in terms of gaining independence and opening up opportunities to work and socialise. Young adults with a hand difference are fully capable of obtaining drivers licences and driving safely. As a first step, we recommend contacting the road traffic authority in your State or Territory, as requirements differ across Australia. Sometimes, there are additional requirements that need to be met before a licence can be issued, for example an assessment from an Occupational Therapist who specialises in driving with limb differences. The type of hand difference (e.g. whether the young person has a wrist) will be taken into consideration. And any aids you are required to use while driving are outlined.
Here at Aussie Hands, we have a number of tips and tricks for young people learning to drive that we are happy to share. When choosing a car to drive, for example, we’d recommend giving some thought as to where the indicators are and how the driver will access them easily. For example, cars made in Europe tend to have the indicators on the left of the steering wheel, cars made in Asia on the right. Some cars can be adapted so that the indicators are operated by push-buttons on the steering wheel. You can also get indicators adapted to be a push button system on your steering wheel. Spinner knobs and handles are also available to make it easier to turn the steering wheel using one hand.
Click here for Learning to Drive Tips and Resources.