Wayne's Journey to Improved Driver Safety
18 November 2020
The 15-21 November 2020 is National Road Safety Week, bringing focus on how every Australian can work together to save lives and prevent serious injuries on our roads.
Today we share Wayne’s journey on how he improved his driver safety by updating his vehicle modifications to include an electronic accelerator, and a wheelchair transfer platform
Wanting to maintain his independence, Wayne who has paraplegia, came to Indigo in June of this year (2020) to investigate alternative vehicle modifications to assist him with driving and transferring into his vehicle. Wayne lives in the country, works full-time, and has regular travel commitments. Being able to drive was incredibly important for Wayne to maintain his engagement in the community.
Wayne had been driving with a manual push-pull hand control and transferring into his vehicle by lifting his body across from his wheelchair, and then dismantling the wheelchair to lift across his body and into the passenger seats.
Shoulder degeneration due to years of physical loading meant these modifications and methods no longer met Wayne’s needs.
Working with an Indigo Occupational Therapist (OT), it was determined Wayne would benefit from transitioning to hand controls with an electronic accelerator as this would reduce sustained and repetitive loading on the shoulders, and enable two hands on the steering without requiring a spinner knob.
Wayne had also experienced pain when lifting his body from the wheelchair to the drivers’ seat, a transfer platform fitted to the vehicle was identified as a good long-term option to assist with sliding across. The AbiLoader, a wheelchair loading device with robotic arm was found to be the best method of safely loading his wheelchair into the vehicle.
Indigo was successful in applying for funding through the NDIS and the vehicle modifications were fitted to Wayne’s vehicle by Freedom Motors Australia in October.
Wayne is now driving with his new vehicle modifications. He is travelling for longer and to more destinations and is no longer restricted by pain or discomfort when accessing the vehicle or driving. We have loved every minute of working with Wayne to achieve his goal.