…I have come to a new appreciation, surveying our vehicle test fleet, of what everyday life must be like for people with physical challenges or limited mobility.
For me right now, the key is low-effort everything and minimizing movements requiring my right arm. I have a newfound appreciation for a quiet cabin, a comfortable ride, easy access, and a view out that doesn’t require straining or craning. Automatic transmission is a given for now.
Here are 12 more items that make my temporary limitation easier to live with:
- Push-button start: Eliminates the need to twist the wrist to turn a key.
- Electronic parking brake: Requires only push/pull finger action, and also saves space.
- Adjustable armrest: Allows optimal positioning of the elbow.
- Power adjustable steering column: No need to grope beneath the steering column and pry loose a stiff lever.
- Power seat: Low-effort fore-and-aft and recline adjustments. Power lumbar support is a bonus.
- Automatic climate control: Set the temperature once and be done with it. No need to fumble for out-of-reach controls.
- Steering-wheel-mounted audio controls: Change volume and stations without having to lift a hand off the wheel.
- Rain-sensing wipers: No grasping or twisting a wiper lever.
- Auto headlights: No need to take my left hand off the wheel to turn them on or off.
- One-touch power windows (up and down): No need to press and hold, leaving my left hand on the wheel.
- Doors that unlock and open when you pull the inside latch: Takes away the need to look for the central lock switch.
- Strong door detents: Doors that stay open on my slightly sloped driveway without the need to fight them back.