Learning to drive, safely, is a serious matter for everyone. To maintain control of a rapidly moving vehicle in a flow of traffic takes finely-tuned motor skills and an extraordinary level of alertness, sometimes for hours at a time. Adding paralysis to that mixture increases the complexity of the situation. Fortunately, we are benefiting from the work of early driving pioneers and manufacturers who developed the tools and mechanisms to help drivers with paralysis maintain their “safe driver” status.
Some of the first types of hand controls available over 50 years ago were fairly simple, with metal rods extending from the brake and throttle pedals to levers mounted near the steering wheel. Pushing, pulling or twisting a control lever in different ways controlled the speed of the vehicle and could bring it to a stop. That simplicity was a plus, as it minimized equipment breakdowns and helped those controls last for years