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  • driving advice/turn signal advice

    I have come to the realization that I need to suck it up, get over my phobia and get my freaking drivers liscence already (living 30 km from town will do that...). I have a road test booked for June 26 (coincidently the day I got my liscence when I was 16! 9 years ago...). So I started practicing yesterday and everything went very well (except for my pants falling down while transferring and my pounding heart when going over 10 km/hr lol). My main problem is not being able to flick the turn signal on without letting go of the hand control... I'm not sure why the OT who prescribed my van modifications didn't do some kind of mod for that but anyhow. What do you all do?
    i drive a E250 with 6 way power seat, MPD controls and a tripin spinner knob.
    Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.

  • #2
    I had a similar problem in a borrowed Ford E350 van. My solution was to create a turn signal extension that went from left of the steering wheel (where the turn signal lever comes out of the column) above and to the right of the steering wheel. I created the extension by putting some compound angle bends in a piece of welding rod. Two hose clamps held the flattened end of the extension to the turn signal lever. I could flick the extension up or down without releasing the wheel.
    Foolish

    "We have met the enemy and he is us."-POGO.

    "I have great faith in fools; self-confidence my friends call it."~Edgar Allan Poe

    "Dream big, you might never wake up!"- Snoop Dogg

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    • #3
      let go of the hand control at a moment where you can coast for a second or two. you'll be okay.

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      • #4
        Emi, I have MPD controls and a tri-pin spinner as well, and I just quickly let go of the hand control and hit the turn signal lever. With a little practice, it's no big deal, and your hand will be off the controls for about the same (or less than) the time it takes an AB to move their foot from the gas pedal to the brake pedal. You can do it.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Scott Pruett
          let go of the hand control at a moment where you can coast for a second or two. you'll be okay.
          What Scott said (and what I said in the other thread).

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          • #6
            yup what scott said. i just let go of my hand control,
            Bike-on.com rep
            John@bike-on.com
            c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
            sponsored handcycle racer

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            • #7
              Hi Emi,

              I believe from previous posts, you are a quad. If that is the case, then your OT and vehicle mod people dropped the ball!

              You should have an "Elbow switch" mounted on the driver side door where your elbow rests/hits when your hand is in the gas/break accuator. This switch alllows you to control, not only turn signals, but your high beams, horn, wipers, window spray, etc. - whatever you want really.

              The beauty of it is you don't have to take your hand out of the control to signal ect. It's not that expensive (in the scheme of things) to add in.

              Use of it is second nature for me. I don't even have to think.

              Works on a musical scale (doe, ray, me, fa, so, la, tee, doe) Hit once = left sig. Hit and hold 1 sec = right sig. 3 seconds = horn, etc.

              See EGB.

              Get in there girl! Driving has made the biggest difference in my post SCI life. You will love it!

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              • #8
                letting go and coasting isn't a bad idea, as when you are turning you are generally slowing down anyhow. Should work until I pass my road test then I can fight with my insurance to get an elbow switch.
                Last time my dad and I just practiced in an empty parking lot but tommorow we are trying on a back road, gonna have to get over the fear of going over 10 km though!
                Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.

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                • #9
                  Just use your head and let go when there's nothing in front of you that would necessitate quick braking. If you have to start signalling further in advance to feel safe doing so, then do it. It's really simple and won't require any thought once you get the hang of it.

                  I'd advise against secondary controls if you can avoid them (which @ your level you should be able to - C6, right?). They aren't cheap & it's just one more thing that can give you problems if they crap out on you and you're dependent on them.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Scott Pruett
                    Just use your head and let go when there's nothing in front of you that would necessitate quick braking. If you have to start signalling further in advance to feel safe doing so, then do it. It's really simple and won't require any thought once you get the hang of it.

                    I'd advise against secondary controls if you can avoid them (which @ your level you should be able to - C6, right?). They aren't cheap & it's just one more thing that can give you problems if they crap out on you and you're dependent on them.
                    agree 100 percent. u dont need anything else emi
                    Bike-on.com rep
                    John@bike-on.com
                    c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
                    sponsored handcycle racer

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                    • #11
                      you guys are right, I'm actually C8 - so practically a para lol. I probably dont need anytrhing else. I'm just sooooooooooooo scared to drive, esp. when I will be carying very precious cargo (our daughter) most of the time.
                      Emily, C-8 sensory incomplete mom to a 8 year old and a preschooler. TEN! years post.

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                      • #12
                        I flip the turn signl similar to Scorpion. To flip it right I just lift my wrist up, to flip it to the left I let go of the tri-pin and flip it down. It bothered me to let go at first but youget more comfortable with time. You will also learn to time things out a little to make the letting go of the knob litle easier.
                        www.cawvsports.org
                        The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same. ~ Don Juan Matus
                        We are Virginia Tech… We must laugh again… No one deserves a tragedy… We are strong, and brave, and innocent, and unafraid…We are better than we think and not quit what we want to be…We are the Hokies…We will prevail, we will prevail, we will prevail. We ARE Virginia Tech! ~ Nikki Giovanni

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                        • #13
                          i wouldnt get a steering knob either emi. im a quad and dont use one.
                          Bike-on.com rep
                          John@bike-on.com
                          c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
                          sponsored handcycle racer

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                          • #14
                            this is to address the fear part. I was always a very good driver pre sci. I started with tractors in the fields when I couldn't reach the brakes or clutch from the seat at about 5. Anyway, when I put my handcontrols in my car, I was paranoid as heck. I only drove down the street and back once, about 3 minutes, to check their function. I was w/o a license at the time and hadn't driven for 7 years.
                            All the possibilities of wrecks ran thru my mind thick and fast. When the time arrived for my driving test, I was still scared. Used my head and passed it though. I drove slowly and deliberately. When I got the license in my hand, that thought of failure evaporated.
                            Within that first tank of gas, my confidence was back. It will help you to remember, you are NOT the first. If others can do it, you can too.
                            Driving was singularly, the MOST liberating thing I have done post sci.
                            Freedom to come and go at your own discretion. Now you can take the little one to the park and enjoy it.

                            https://www.facebook.com/john.baxter.1213986

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                            • #15
                              I use an elbow touch pad on the left which works great. As already mentioned your evaluator should have considered it. However, I also have a crossbar that I purchased and had installed. It clamps on to the directional signal lever on the left and stretches across to the right so all I would have to do is lift my hand off the steering momentarily and push on it up or down. I like this in addition to the elbow push because after awhile the signal turns off with the elbow touch and at a light I do use it quite a bit. As for the tripin spinner knob not sure if something better would suit you. I am a c 5/6 inc. with fortunately a pretty good grasp on my right hand. Until recently I was using a regular spinner knob but then I started having problems with my grasp. I tried a tripin, not sure if it was the same as yours, but I hated it. I was used to being able to momentarily take my hand off the wheel and change position of my arm and small things like pushing up my glasses or push back hair. My hand and arm would get extremely tired in one place with the quad tripin, and with those you really can't take your hand off of it. I use a straight pin now and I can now reposition my arm and hand again anywhere on the wheel. Since my hand is pretty much back to normal I still won't go back to a regular spinner knob and I love my new straight pin, I feel that it is much safer and wouldn't go back to the original knob I had. Since you're a c-8 you should really consider a straight pin. I'm sure you will be much more comfortable. Also ask your evaluator about the directional crossbar. Good luck and once you start driving again you will wonder what took you so long.
                              Last edited by cara_m; 05-04-2007, 03:04 PM.

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