It’s self-evident that disabled people drive. But have you ever wondered exactly how they drive? This video from Smarter Every Day gives an insight into how Kenny, who only has one arm and no legs, operates his Ram truck, and there’s some very cool technology involved.
First Kenny has to get in, using an $8,000 lifting platform mounted under the truck - it had to be lifted so the platform didn’t get ripped off on bumps or kerbs - while a rear-mounted crane lifts his wheelchair into the load bed.
Once in the driver’s seat, Kenny attaches a clamp to his prosthetic arm that grips the control for the throttle and brake. A simple push or pull actuates the pedals, but the mechanism is actually a pretty complicated, beautifully made bit of engineering. Steering and operating the other controls is done with his right hand.
It’s easy to take being able to drive - indeed, having four limbs - for granted. But as Kenny says, being able to drive as a triple amputee gives him freedom and independence to get around - it's easy underestimate how valuable that bit of normality is.
Kenny's life must be very challenging in many ways, but it's great that the technology - and legal framework - exists that allow him and other disabled people to drive.