Easy Reach Signal Lever Adaptation for Single Handed Driver





Introduction: Easy Reach Signal Lever Adaptation for Single Handed Driver

Because of my stroke my left sid. e is weak, I drive with my right hand only. In order to signal without reaching all across the steering wheel while maintaining control of the wheel, I adapt my signal control using a good old plastic hanger. Here are some picture of the project. 

- plastic cloth hanger
- duct tape

Step 1:

Cut up your plastic hanger, keep only a small "L" shape (or "V").

Step 2:

duct tape the short arm  to your signal level, trim the length if needed.
I also use some tie wraps to make it more secure.

Step 3:

Finished view from driver seat. You can use your right finger to signal while holding on the steering wheel.

Plastic Hanger $0.10
Duct Tape $0.10
Able to signal safely : priceless.....



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    may I ask, whats that thing attached to your sterring wheel?

    wow, seeing this and reading a bunch of these comments makes me want to design custom switchers and buttons for people that want to relocate them to one side or the other, now if everyone drove the same car I own that would make it extremely easier, but if I do design something, it would have to be universal, which would be nearly impossible to make plug and play. since different car companies use different connectors for their levers and switchers and they also vary from model and model years.
    the best Idea I can think of is for making 2 switch panels, one for people that can use their left hand to operate them and one for people that can only use their right hand, and then buy the wiring diagram books for the car each individual drives and label the wires on my panels, and write instructions on what wires need to be spliced where in the car, so that any alarm installer would be able to install them on any car.
    and for people that have that lever that you push or pull to accelerate or brake, if I could work on their car directly, I could integrate the buttons to that lever and make it as simple as having a sideways rocker switch with 3 positions on1 off on2, to operate the turn signals with your thumb or any other finger without having to let go of that lever.

    Ive always wanted to help people that have difficulty driving a car for any physical disability, because I love driving, and I firmly believe that everyone no matter what condition they have they deserve to be able to do the same and be comfortable and safe doing it, thanks for this post and for the comments everyone left, Im going to start designing and thinking of layouts for the buttons. and looking at my car's wiring diagrams to get a better idea on how those multi-function levers work in my car and how can I make a separate button for each those functions.

    Great example of Mc Gyver's engineering ;-)

    But I suggest small safety improvement: Cover, grind or otherwise blunt the cut end of hanger. Although it's plastic it can still be sharp enough to scratch you.

    2 replies

    Or stick a knob of Sugru on the end.

    You are right. Being a hemiplegia (left side weakness) with limited ability and resource, McGyver Engineering model is what I need. Duct tape to the rescue again !

    If I were to do the same project before my stroke, I would design a battery powered bluetooth remote control switch on the steering wheel and a mini-embedded linux computer patch to my car's control system. That will make the whole system too complicated and required too much time and $ to implement and eventually get it half-done and then lost interest after all. My stroke forced me to be practical and make things works. I was an engineer who know too much and left trails of unfinished projects along the way. Looks like stroke and McGyver way maybe a good things happened to me.

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    Brilliant! As a double amputee I have to re-think all of driving--I had a set of rather ancient hand controls but they scared me to death--and one BIG reason was--to signal OR to open/close the window etc. you have to take your one hand OFF the wheel! (In order to feed gas to the engine you need the OTHER hand on the gas/brake lever--a whole 'nother thing to scare you!) But I can def see doing this!!!! Surely tho making it a bit less pokey---but THANKS for the great start point!

    And---there are some VERY cool looking Suicide Spinners on eBay---the Mobility Works one is==kinda--institutional ya know??? LOL!

    Good luck and keep these ideas coming-- With this kinda help I might just be back on the road someday!!!!

    1 reply

    You see similar lever extenders available in lots of places but this is a simple idea. Would it be strong enough though to allow dimming the headlights? I use hand controls too but live in Australia where cars are right hand drive. I can reach my indicator lever while my hand is on the hand control but do have to take it off to wind the window up or down (no power windows). Luckily my hand controls are on the right like the driver's side door. I can reach the windscreen wiper lever too from the steering wheel so no need to take my hand off the wheel. Maybe my levers are closer to the steering wheel than yours. You can also get hand controls with horn and indicator switches on them though it's not that hard to add them.

    Here's a video Chris Young just made. I am amazed at what he's been able to come up with. You'll see him about 3/4 thru the video: http://youtu.be/UOCPYPVNlxk

    1 reply

    This is brillant, can't wait for his technical detail. We should create more adaptive toy for the disabled, we all need to have fun. Thanks

    By the way, what you have put together is so simple, I wouldn't have thought of it. Good idea...

    You can see him a lot on the adafruit show and tell videos.

    1 reply

    Thanks for the intro, I will look him up.

    dude; that is awesome.... I wonder if some zip-ties might hold up better in the heat of a car better than just the tape alone, but that is very very cool. so simple and functional; I love it.... I'm so used to reaching through the steering wheel to engage the directional... and I'm lucky to have very large hands with long fingers, so I'm not sure I'd do this after more than 20 years of driving the way I do, but I've got a minor case of cerebral palsy (my left side is gimped up just like if I'd had a stroke.).... this idea is GREAT. very cool. so cool.

    1 reply

    You are right, I am using zip-ties under the tape. I forgot to take photo. Hope this help you drive safely. At least your hand will not get trap/hurt in the steering wheel if your car hit a bump/rock.

    Look up Chris Young in Google+. While I don't think he had a stroke, he is wheelchair bound, I believe, and has made quite a few projects for himself and others.

    He has come up with some amazing electronics helpers and general projects.

    Thanks, just one of my project after my stroke to adapt to my new/limited 'ability'. I will post more in a few days.