Drivers with disabilities – their cars, driving habits and safety

  • Published: Nordic Road and Transport Research, 2002
  • Authors: P. Henriksson and B. Peters
  • Date Added: 14 Feb 2013
  • Last Update: 14 Feb 2013
  • Format: pdf


To gather data on driver’s specific disability, their vehicle and any modifications, and their RTI involvement.


Survey of 1,000 disabled drivers in Sweden.

Key Findings:

  • When driving their adapted vehicles, 91 per cent reported feeling safe or very safe; 95 per cent said their confidence was high or very high.

  • The proportion of drivers involved in RTIs during the period 1996 to summer 1999 was 11 per cent. The majority were minor RTIs: in 84 cases (87 per cent), only material damage was the consequence.

  • Like young drivers in general, young disabled drivers were more often involved in RTIs than middle-aged and older drivers. A group of disabled drivers which was overrepresented among those drivers who had experienced an RTI comprised persons with impaired or no function in the abdomen, such as persons with a spinal cord injury.

  • Nine RTIs were attributed to problems with the special equipment in the car. The causes could be unfamiliarity with the controls, an adaptation that was insufficiently adjusted to the individual or equipment that broke down. In three of the four cases with technical defects of the equipment, a combined control for braking and accelerating was found in the car.

  • The risk of a disabled driver being involved in an RTI was not found to be statistically different from the risk posed to drivers in general.


Disabled drivers, safety, adapted vehicles.


This study does not record any additional risks posed by disabled drivers. It also investigated opinions on confidence and safety amongst drivers which are not widely reported in other research.